PORT ST. LUCIE — New York is down one superstar with the Giants trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns.
Every team wants to have at least one superstar. But as OBJ showed, being a superstar doesn’t mean you will lead your team to success. Having the right superstar is what it’s all about.
With all that in mind, Mets fans might want to consider these words from Robinson Cano about young shortstop Amed Rosario.
“Rosario is going to be a superstar,’’ Cano told the Post.
Not just a star, a superstar. Cano, who crushed a two-run home run to centerfield off Gerrit Cole in the Mets 2-1 win over Houston Wednesday at First Data Field, has seen enough of Rosario this spring to make such a bold prediction.
Cano, who is hitting .423, knows talent and superstardom and loves everything he sees as he mentors the 23-year-old shortstop. He does not throw the term out there loosely.
“He can run, he can field, he’s strong and he is going to add muscle as he gets older, that’s going to be something else. He listens, too,’’ Cano told me of Rosario. “I love the kid.’’
Rosario goes everywhere Cano goes, much like he followed Jose Reyes around, but there is one big difference. Cano is still at the top of his game and remains a hitting machine his 15th season in the majors. Cano is totally invested in the game and as a result Rosario is getting tips from a hitter who batted .303 last season and has a lifetime average of .304 with 311 home runs.
Cano has made mistakes too and was suspended 80 games last season after failing a drug test.
The Mets already have their starting pitching superstar in Jacob deGrom. They have a star closer in Edwin Diaz. Outfielder Michael Conforto is on the star path. If Rosario can join them and rise to superstar status as Cano predicts, that’s a Fantastic Four to go with the veteran second baseman.
“Robbie has helped me so much,’’ Rosario, who slashed .256/.295/.381 last season, told me. “I am working really hard and come to the field every day listening to what he has to say. ’’
When I told him that Cano said he could become a superstar, Rosario smiled and said he welcomes great expectations. He is not afraid to be challenged.
“I don’t look at that as pressure,’’ Rosario said. “I try to enjoy the game. We are working together every day and I am trying to learn what to do. Robbie is an amazing person. He comes to the field early every day and he brings energy. I have tried to do that as well. And he has also helped me with my confidence. That is so important. That means so much to your game.’’
Todd Frazier said one of Rosario’s great strengths as a young player “is the way he takes to change.’’
“He is not afraid to change anything,” Frazier said. “He tried something last year with a no-stride, two-strike approach, did well with it, came in this year and wasn’t comfortable with it and changed. He has it in the bag now if he needs it. He has more tools and more understanding of the game now. His swing is really good, his defense is really good, and he wants to learn.’’
All that is a direct result of working with Cano and leaning on his experience. This spring Rosario has posted a .400/.478/.800 slash line.
Noah Syndergaard pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings Wednesday and said this of Rosario.
“I think the way he is maturing is great to see, both on and off the field in terms of the way he conducts himself in the clubhouse and the way he conducts himself on the field,” Syndergaard said. “A lot to do with having Jose here last year and having Robbie here this year. They’re going to mold him into this incredible baseball player and I look forward to watching it.’’
Maybe even a superstar some day.