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Future Redbirds Top 25 Prospects for 2015: #16 - Edmundo Sosa

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The Gulf Coast League affiliate was loaded with talent last year. You've heard a lot this winter about Magneuris Sierra, no doubt. Malik Collymore too. I covered Ronnie Williams and Frederis Parra already in this top 25. The guy you probably haven't heard a lot about might also have the highest ceiling of anyone on the GCL Cardinals roster a year ago. That guy? Edmundo Sosa.

Edmundo Sosa, Winter Leagues 2014
Edmundo Sosa, Winter Leagues 2014
Panama Baseball

Acquired: IFA (2012), Panama: $425,000 bonus

Birthday: 3/6/1996

Age: 19

Minor League Stops in 2014: Gulf Coast League Cardinals (R), State College Spikes (SS-A)

2014 Totals:

PA

AVG

OBP

SLG

ISO

K%

BB%

wOBA

238 .269 .333 .368 .099 13.0% 7.6% .352


F-R Grades:

(You can find the primer on the 20-80 grading scale here)

Hit

Run

Arm

Field

Power

55/65 55 50 60/65 40/45

One thing that jumps out pretty quick is that there's no real standout tool currently (maybe his defense), just some potential for a couple of plus tools down the road. Those are the trials and tribulations of evaluating 18 year old kids who haven't played much organized baseball. They're nearly all projection.

The thing that jumps out is how much Sosa is liked by the guys that look at prospects his age all the time. Ben Badler at Baseball America is a big fan:

If the Red Sox are talking to the Cardinals about Jake Peavy, if I'm Boston, I want Edmundo Sosa tacked on to that deal. Young SS can hit.

— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) July 8, 2014

I've seen very little of Sosa firsthand, as GCL games aren't part of the MiLB streaming package and there's very little video of him as a professional floating around the web. Based on his scouting reports, however, there's a lot to like:
  • Athletic with good hands makes him likely to stick at SS and possibly be a plus defender there.
  • Compact swing, good approach, makes a lot of good barrel contact, hits the ball hard and uses the whole field
  • Doesn't have plus speed. Good lateral quickness and first step getting to the ball in the field.
  • Below average power, but has some time to grow into his body and could develop some good gap power as he fills out.
If you take all of that at face value and try to think up a comp for Sosa's ceiling as a major league player, the guy that comes to mind for me is a former Cardinal: Edgar Renteria. Now, Renteria was hitting .309 in 2/3 of a season in the big leagues at age 20 and winning the World Series with a walk off base hit in Game 7 a year later.  Is Sosa going to be doing those things?  Doubtful.  But the tools are pretty much the same, as is the body.  Renteria played most of his career at 6'1", 190-200 and Sosa is 5'11" - 6'0" and 170 - 180 at age 18.  What is most similar to me about them, though, is the contact rate and ability to barrel the ball.

Remember, we're talking ceiling here, and of a 19 year old kid to boot.  Still, it's hard to discount those similarities to give you a realistic idea of what a fully grown Edmundo Sosa might look like as a big leaguer in a few years time.

The only good video I have is of his Academy Pro day three years ago:

<iframe width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6Ad6aDJhnH4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

2015 Outlook:

I'd be really shocked if Sosa jumped all the way to full season ball given his age and the talent ahead of him (I really think Andrew Sohn needs a chance to prove himself and so does Oscar Mercado, although I'm less bullish on the former first rounder than most).  There's no real reason to push him given the strength at the position in the system and at the big league level currently. I think a start in State College is probably likely, with a move to Peoria for the last month if he makes good progress.  Basically, the same path Rowan Wick took last year -- we can only hope he puts up Wick-like numbers with the Spikes.

Overall Grade: B-