2008 Pitcher of the Year - Jorge Sosa

No, I'm not kidding.  Jorge Sosa won the award for this winter's work in Liga de Beisbol Profesional de la Republica Dominican.  This is the same guy who just signed with the Nationals, a minor-league deal, despite being on the restricted list for amphetimines (he'll miss the first 50 of 2009).  El Lanzador del Ano starts tonight for Licey in the first game of the DWL's round-robin playoffs. 

Sosa only uses two pitches against righties, adding a change-up to his slider/fastball combo against left-handers.  This makes him questionable as a starter, and he most certainly projects as a reliever, if anything, for 2009.  He did make some starts in 2007, but stayed in the bullpen in 2008 - at AAA, too.  Now, he's the best pitcher in the league and the ace of the premier team. 

Here are Jorge's stat lines from 2008, with the Mets and Licey, along with his Marcel.

W-L   ERA     IP  SO  BB  HB  HR  K/9  K:BB
4-1 7.06 21.2 12 11 0 4 5.0 1.1 2008 MLB
6-2 2.53 57.0 24 16 2 2 3.8 1.5 2008 Licey
4-4 4.66 55.0 37 21 8 7 6.1 1.8 2009 Marcel

Marcel expects him to bounce back from a rough season. This winter, however, one thing certainly raises an eyebrow - his K rate is below 4 per 9 innings.  Plus, in Sosa's ten starts (he made one relief appearance), he's averaged just over 5 innings.  I guess his lucky ERA is enough to get a trophy this time around.

So, what have the Nationals gotten themselves into?  Jorge Sosa relies on his slider, to the extreme against righties, but none of his stuff is "+", IMO.  He does throw the slider for strikes, I'll give him that.

cfx # mph pfx_x pfx_z deg rpm
CH 44 84.6 -9.3 5.8 238 1,327
FA 406 92.8 -8.1 7.7 226 1,482
SL 501 85.6 -0.3 4.2 184 559

 

cfx # LHH RHH Swing Whiff B:CS ISZ Paint Chase Watch
CH 44 44 0 0.477 0.238 6.7 0.250 0.114 0.394 0.273
FA 406 213 193 0.451 0.126 2.2 0.429 0.101 0.276 0.316
SL 501 149 352 0.459 0.226 2.0 0.375 0.150 0.351 0.362
951 406 545 0.456 0.184 2.2 0.392 0.127 0.324 0.338

Let's put that first set of numbers into pictures

Jsos01_medium

Flight Paths:

Jsos02_medium

As you can clearly see, that change-up is something that is kept well outside (remember, he only uses it against lefties in the sample PITCHf/x covers).

Plate locations

LHH

Jsos03_medium

RHH

Jsos04_medium

Sosa has middle relief written all over him.  I'm pretty amazed at his success this winter - hopefully Washington won't be fooled by it.  They'll certainly have a long enough cooling-off period.

 

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