Player Profile: Henry Sosa

Lost in the trade deadline madness of last season was the acquisition of Henry Sosa. Understandably, the Jeff Keppinger trade to the Giants was viewed as more of a cost cutting move than about who we got in return but Sosa would make an impression in the latter part of the season. Henry would make a number of good to excellent starts in August and September which demonstrates why he was once a very highly touted prospect. Sosa could be a major wildcard in 2012 as he has a chance to become a viable option as a back of the rotation starter.

Sosa was once a promising prospect within the Giants organization, getting all the way up to their #2 prospect in 2007. The problem, like with so many young arms, was injuries. Sosa would go down with various alignments in the 2008 and 2009 seasons, which sidetracked a once promising career. The right hander would still be steady, yet unspectacular, upon his return to the Giants farm system but he would eventually be moved to the bullpen. His time in the pen would not go well and Sosa’s days as a prospect would end. So the once top prospect would have to take the long road to the majors, without a defined role, but the Astros would soon change that.

Last July, the Astros traded their reliable second baseman, Jeff Keppinger, to the Giants for Jason Stoffel and Henry Sosa. While the move went under the radar, after short but very successful stints in double and triple A, Sosa would soon make his impact in Houston. Henry would provide the Astros with a number of strong starts going  3-5 with a 5.23 era over 10 starts. His era doesn’t look great but he did show some interesting potential with the Astros and made himself  a strong candidate for the rotation or long relief in 2012.

Too often we focus on the headline making deals but sometimes the small deals can add valuable pieces to a rebuilding or contending club. For example, Richard Hidalgo was dealt to the New York Mets for Dan Wheeler and at the time not many fans realized how incredibly valuable Wheels would become over his time in Houston. I don’t claim to know how much Sosa will contribute to the Astros from this point forward but after a strong 2011, he might end up being a key piece to the 2012 club.

 

 

Topics: Dan Wheeler, Henry Sosa, Houston Astros, Jason Stoffel, Jeff Keppinger, New York Mets, Richard Hidalgo, San Francisco Giants

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  • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

    Sosa seems like a long reliever right now, because he would be well below average as a starter at this point. It’s shocking how injuries have derailed his career to this extent, and all we can do is wish him the best going forward. As always, I enjoy these write-ups profiling players, well done.

    http://www.calltothepen.com

  • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

    Sosa seems like a long reliever right now, because he would be well below average as a starter at this point. It’s shocking how injuries have derailed his career to this extent, and all we can do is wish him the best going forward. As always, I enjoy these write-ups profiling players, well done.

    http://www.calltothepen.com

    • LEXthePEX

      @SorianoJoe First off, thanks for the kind words. I like Sosa and think he could be a sleeper choice for a steady 4-5 spot this season. That said, I agree, the bullpen is probably where he ends up. I am a little worried though because he has struggled so much as a reliever.

  • Stroscrow

    When looking at Sosa he screams relief pitcher. The problem is that he hasn’t been all that affective in the role in the minors. Sosa’s biggest problem is his limited repertoire. His fastball/slider combination is tough on righties, bit left-handed hitters have hit him hard, and he needs to develop a third pitch to neutralize lefties.

    His velocity is still there, and he looks to be recovered from his injury spouts, but injury concerns are present for pitchers who throw the amount of sliders that he does. Keppinger just didn’t have alot of value on the market, so Sosa and Stoffel seemed fair. At the time I viewed Stoffel as the more dominant piece in the deal, and Sosa was a pleasant surprise.

    I think Sosa is useful as rotation depth, but I don’t see him in the 2012 rotation unless significant injuries occur. I would rank him fifth on the depth chart for the final spot in the rotation behind Weiland, Lyles, Harrell, and Aneury. He needs to develop a third pitch to try and stick as a starter.

  • LEXthePEX

    @SorianoJoe First off, thanks for the kind words. I like Sosa and think he could be a sleeper choice for a steady 4-5 spot this season. That said, I agree, the bullpen is probably where he ends up. I am a little worried though because he has struggled so much as a reliever.

  • LEXthePEX

    @Stroscrow I loved the Kepp deal because it brought two live arms into the system. Stoffel is very intriguing as a setup man and Sosa could be a great fallback option as a starter or long man.

  • Stroscrow

    When looking at Sosa he screams relief pitcher. The problem is that he hasn’t been all that affective in the role in the minors. Sosa’s biggest problem is his limited repertoire. His fastball/slider combination is tough on righties, bit left-handed hitters have hit him hard, and he needs to develop a third pitch to neutralize lefties.

    His velocity is still there, and he looks to be recovered from his injury spouts, but injury concerns are present for pitchers who throw the amount of sliders that he does. Keppinger just didn’t have alot of value on the market, so Sosa and Stoffel seemed fair. At the time I viewed Stoffel as the more dominant piece in the deal, and Sosa was a pleasant surprise.

    I think Sosa is useful as rotation depth, but I don’t see him in the 2012 rotation unless significant injuries occur. I would rank him fifth on the depth chart for the final spot in the rotation behind Weiland, Lyles, Harrell, and Aneury. He needs to develop a third pitch to try and stick as a starter.

    • LEXthePEX

      @Stroscrow I loved the Kepp deal because it brought two live arms into the system. Stoffel is very intriguing as a setup man and Sosa could be a great fallback option as a starter or long man.

  • Its Gonna Happen

    Oh Sosa…when we traded our reliable SECOND BASEMAN, I was pissed off about the return we got. Kepp was a good defender and a steady .300 bat with plenty of doubles power. He had finally been given consistant playing time after being labeled a “utility” infielder for most of his career, and he was flourishing. I understood that he needed to be traded because we were cutting salary and he was expendable, but I thought we could have gotten a better deal.

    I was surprised at how well Sosa was able to do and he quickly made me eat my words when I said we got two pitchers that wouldn’t amount to anything. If anything I thought Stoffel would be the pleasant surprise as a possible closer. Sosa’s two pitch arsenal is pretty damning for him as a starting pitcher. If he could learn a cutter or a change to keep lefties off balance he could become a latino Bud Norris. As is, he’ll be lucky to make it as the 5th SP and is probably destined to a bullpen role in AAA. I like him, I just like Harrell and Lyles more.

  • Its Gonna Happen

    Oh Sosa…when we traded our reliable SECOND BASEMAN, I was pissed off about the return we got. Kepp was a good defender and a steady .300 bat with plenty of doubles power. He had finally been given consistant playing time after being labeled a “utility” infielder for most of his career, and he was flourishing. I understood that he needed to be traded because we were cutting salary and he was expendable, but I thought we could have gotten a better deal.

    I was surprised at how well Sosa was able to do and he quickly made me eat my words when I said we got two pitchers that wouldn’t amount to anything. If anything I thought Stoffel would be the pleasant surprise as a possible closer. Sosa’s two pitch arsenal is pretty damning for him as a starting pitcher. If he could learn a cutter or a change to keep lefties off balance he could become a latino Bud Norris. As is, he’ll be lucky to make it as the 5th SP and is probably destined to a bullpen role in AAA. I like him, I just like Harrell and Lyles more.