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Big move for Sosa
In a season of aggressive assignments of top hitting prospects in the St. Louis Cardinals system, Edmundo Sosa is the latest to the join the group. On Friday, the shortstop received a promotion to High-A Palm Beach after having been with Low-A Peoria in his first year of full season ball here in 2016.
Sosa, 20, will be among the youngest position players in the Florida State League. However, he will not be the most adolescent Beach Bird to debut this season as his former Peoria teammate Junior Fernandez (19 years of age) made the same move three weeks ago. Sosa’s right-handed bat will provide a much-needed jolt to an offense that ranks in the bottom of the FSL in nearly every major offensive category.
The Cardinal Nation’s ninth-ranked prospect, who is projected to stay up the middle as he fills out and matures with improving defensive abilities, is slashing .268/.307/.336/.643 with 71:19 strikeout to walk ratio through 351 at-bats and was a mid-season Midwest League All-Star. The right-handed hitter slugged three homers and produced 30 RBI with Peoria. Sosa made 15 errors in 88 games.
There may be an adjustment period for Sosa like many offensive players transitioning to the larger ballparks of the Florida State League, but with solid gap power, it could play to his benefit with a chance to thrive at this level. All that said, this promo puts Sosa on track for Springfield by 2017.
The Palm Beach offense lost its leadoff man and offensive catalyst, second baseman Darren Seferina, to the disabled list last week.
Incumbent Palm Beach shortstop Oscar Mercado has a batting line of .205/.278/.255/.533 this season. The former second-rounder has committed 29 errors in 85 games and while he has swiped 23 bases, he has been caught 16 times (59%). It is not yet clear how Mercado will be deployed with Sosa now on the roster.
Sosa will be making his FSL debut on Friday, batting second and playing shortstop as the Beach Birds take on Tampa.
Martinez to Peoria
Jose Martinez, the Cardinals shortstop prospect who came over in the Tony Cruz trade with Kansas City last December, was moved up to Peoria from Low-A (short-season) State College to take Sosa's spot on the Chiefs roster.
Martinez, 19, will likely assume everyday duties at shortstop for the Chiefs. The switch-hitter held a .276/.357/.327 slash line in 26 games (98 at-bats) for the Spikes in the New York-Penn League this season. He belted a homer and drove in 9 RBI, and is hot, with two consecutive four-hit games earlier this week.
Earlier, the Venezuelan native made his full-season debut with Palm Beach in June over a six-game injury fill-in stint and held his own to the tune of a .280 average (7-for-25).
On the current roster, State College has other options at short, including sixth-rounder Tommy Edman from Stanford, the subject of an exclusive interview to be posted for members of The Cardinal Nation on Friday evening.
Perry headed back to Springfield
To accommodate lefty Dean Kiekhefer on Memphis roster, who returned after serving as 26th man in St. Louis for the Wednesday day-night doubleheader, Chris Perry was sent back to Springfield following his promotion to Triple-A two days ago.
In his brief time with the Redbirds, Perry did not make his Pacific Coast League debut. The 26-year-old right-hander should return to the mid-to-late inning mix for the Double-A Cards. The North Carolina native has a 2.90 ERA over 27 relief appearances for Springfield in 2016. Perry has struck out 48 against 27 free passes in 40 1/3 innings.
Update: McKenry moves
As expected, Michael McKenry cleared waivers and declared free agency. The catcher had been designated for assignment by St. Louis on Tuesday.
McKenry is poised to sign a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.
Members of The Cardinal Nation can check out Derek Shore’s weekly in-depth Springfield Cardinals team reports, which appear each Thursday morning all season long here at TCN.
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