Earlier this month, the Uni-President Lions of Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League announced an agreement with catcher Wilin Rosario (h/t to the Taipei Times). The 32-year-old (33 in February) is best known in the United States for his five-year MLB run with the Rockies.
A right-handed hitter, Rosario broke into the majors as a September call-up in 2011. He assumed the primary role behind the dish in Colorado the following season, tallying 400+ plate appearances in each of the next three years. A bat-first backstop, Rosario provided above-average offensive numbers (even after accounting for Coors Field’s hitter-friendly nature), popping 20+ homers in each of his first two full campaigns.
By 2014, however, Rosario’s productivity at the plate tailed off, at which point his longstanding issues as a pitch framer and ball blocker became more notable. No other backstop was charged with more passed balls than Rosario (42) between 2012 and 2014. After a second consecutive subpar campaign with the bat as well, Colorado outrighted the Dominican Republic native off their 40-man roster.
Rosario hasn’t appeared in the big leagues since being cut loose by the Rox. He signed with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization in 2016, re-signing there for 2017 as well. After a two-year stint with a monstrous .330/.390/.625 line, Rosario made the jump to Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball in 2018. He struggled to a .242/.285/.374 mark there but returned to affiliated ball on a minor league deal with the Twins in advance of the 2019 campaign.
Despite a decent showing at the plate with Minnesota’s Triple-A affiliate, Rosario didn’t get a call to the majors that year. He didn’t play in 2020 but spent a bit of last season in the Mexican League. He’ll now make his first foray to playing in Taiwan, which will give him experience at the highest levels in each of MLB, the KBO, NPB, the Mexican League and the CPBL.