This article was originally published at the Redbird Daily by Colin Garner, and is now proud to call the Cards Conclave home. Throughout July, we’ll be re-running all 30 Prospect articles as we lead up to Colin’s Mid-Season Prospect Update later in the month.
In Collaboration with Kyle Reis and Birds On The Black, Colin Garner presents you with The Cardinals Top 30 Prospects! Today, we have #21, Edmundo Sosa
21. Edmundo Sosa -SS
Signed on July 2, 2012
Entering his age-22 season
2017 wRC+ (Palm Beach): 98
|2017||21||-1.4||3 Teams||3 Lgs||A+-Rk-AA||STL||58||239||219||32||63||11||1||1||16||3||0||14||36||.288||.332||.361||.693||79||5||1||4||1||0|
What I Like
Sosa’s swing looked far more balanced and powerful in the 2017 Arizona Fall League than it did in 2016 at Peoria.
In the AFL video, Sosa made a ton of contact, and most of it was solid. That’s a great sign for somebody who missed a huge portion of the 2017 season with a broken hamate bone. Not only did he make a ton of contact, the results were there as well. He slashed .305/.359/.356, which is as good as you can expect for a glove-first shortstop.
I love that Sosa bounced around during the AFL as well. He played short, second, and third to expand his versatility, something he’ll have to do with such a low offensive ceiling, at least from a power standpoint.
Defensively, he’s one of the best and most consistent shortstops in the Cardinals system, even though he doesn’t have the flashy range or a cannon for an arm. He cleanly fields the balls he gets to and gets rid of them quickly and on target. He’s a better shortstop than Aledmys Diaz or Jhonny Peralta, but the Cardinals have shown a preference for the bat at shortstop in recent years.
What I Don’t Like
The glaring weakness in Sosa’s game is the lack of power. In five minor league seasons, Sosa hit a mere 15 homers, seven of which came at Johnson City in 2015. He skyrocketed up prospect lists after that 2015, but the power proved fleeting. He hit three homers in 2016, and just one last year, and although the broken hamate bone saps power, there wasn’t much there, to begin with.
Sosa doesn’t walk enough, either. He walked in 5.0% of his plate appearances 88 games in Peoria in 2016 and just 5.7% of his plate appearances at Palm Beach last year. If you aren’t going to hit it over the wall, you need to find as many ways on base as possible, and that’s the area of his game that has the best chance to improve going forward.
It shouldn’t be overlooked that Sosa was passed by Tommy Edman last season. When Sosa went down with injury, Edman was promoted a little too aggressively but held his own. There are several infielders ahead of Sosa in the organization, including the aforementioned Edman, Muñoz, and Schrock. Meanwhile, Delvin Perez behind him still has first-round talent that could manifest at any time.
The last thing I don’t like (or hate, actually) has nothing to do with Sosa’s performance. Fangraphs ranked Sosa as the #12 Cardinals prospect, which is just way too high for someone who has an outside chance at best of ever being a major league regular.
Thanks for reading! As always thanks to Baseball Reference and Fangraphs for their statistics databases. Be sure to check out Kyle’s post tomorrow at Birds On The Black, and check out Prospect To Be Named Later for even more minor league content.