Every year since 2012, we’ve spent some time after the season looking back at those that wore the Birds on the Bat. Whether it’s a bit player that got into just a couple of games or someone that played almost every day, we’ll look at their stats, their positives, their negatives, and grade them based on what we would have expected from them. The stat line is from their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers may include time with other teams, if applicable. Think of this as like the players packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter. Once again, our great header work comes to us from cardinalsgifs, who continues to be a master.
If we’re talking about 2019, we’ve got to highlight the brand that made the most impact this season: Primos and their partnership with Jose Martinez. Throughout the span of these interviews (today through Dec. 5) you can get 10% off your order of that sweet, sweet Cafecito coffee (well, I guess you probably have to doctor it to make it sweet) or anything else at their site. My wife is a coffee snob and we’ve bought multiple bags of the medium roast. It’s a great stocking stuff or Christmas gift as well, especially when you expand your order to pick up the Jose Martinez coffee mug. So use code C70SAVE10 at checkout and show your support of their ties to the Cardinal fanbase!
Player: Edmundo Sosa
Season stats: 8 G, 10 PA, 2 R, 2 H, 1 SB, 1 BB, 2 K, .250/.400/.250, 78 OPS+, -0.1 bWAR
Statcast: 0.0% barrel %, 83.1 exit velocity, 50.0% hard hit %, .377 xwOBA
Overall grade: C
Positives: Got his first major league hit July 18, a game after his callup….spent three days up in July, which equaled his entire major league career to that point….went 1-3 in his first major league start, the Arizona game after the 19-inning affair….stole his first base as a pinch-running situation against the Giants on September 2….hit .291 with 17 home runs at Memphis, which might be all the proof you need that the AAA ball was hot….hit .345 with five homers for the Redbirds in August….hit .352 versus lefties at AAA….had a 1.025 OPS when ahead in the count at Memphis.
Negatives: Didn’t see much action down the stretch, going 11 games at one point between appearances….had no extra base hits at the big league level….hit .187 in May for the Memphis Redbirds….had a .636 OPS when he hit second for them….hit .171 when there was a runner at second….hit .205 in late and close situations.
Overview: I’ve always thought that Sosa was a glove man with a little bit of a bat, something in the vein of Ozzie Smith‘s reputation (though definitely not that sort of defensive wizard). Obviously he did more than that at Memphis this season, but as we all know judging AAA stats from 2019 is a bit of a chore given the fact they were playing with the major league ball and everyone and their dog that didn’t wear the birds on the bat set career highs with that thing. Sosa did hit .270 with 12 homers across AA and AAA in 2018, though, which lends some credence to the idea that, if given a shot, he might be able to be tolerable at the plate in the big leagues.
He wasn’t going to get that shot in October, no matter how much Paul DeJong was dragging, given that the Cards were in a tight battle for the NL Central. Mike Shildt stuck with the ones that brung him in that situation. It would have been nice had the situation allowed Sosa to start at short a few times down the stretch so as to give DeJong that breather, though.
Outlook: Sosa’s got some options left so most likely he’ll bounce between the majors and Memphis, depending on how much rest they want to give DeJong and how the rest of the bench looks. Sosa would be a better option defensively to spell DeJong than Tommy Edman, but Edman is going to be on the roster and may get more looks at short, especially if Matt Carpenter rebounds at third. Still, I’d bet on Sosa getting significantly more than the 13 plate appearances in his career so far in 2020.