Sosa, a 20-year old from Bolivar, Venezuela, came into the 2011 season with the Charleston RiverDogs recognized as the "fourth" outfielder, but he gained playing time throughout the season. With the added playing time, he was able to showcase his hitting and improve on his swing as well.
"I think I've been doing a pretty good job working on my swing, not going too long, keeping it short, which was one of my objectives this season," mentioned Sosa of his improvements over the course of the year.
In the past few weeks Sosa had a little bit of trouble with his hitting though. The hitting coach for the Charleston RiverDogs, Greg Colbrunn noted that Sosa still has aspects of his offensive game that he needed to work on.
"He got off to a real good start, wasn't playing all that much, then he settled in and swung the bat pretty well," explained Colbrunn of Sosa's performance throughout the year. "Over the last month or so he has struggled with a couple of things; his timing, his rhythm, things like that. These last weeks we want him to come back and do well."
At the beginning of August Sosa had a minor setback in fulfilling his goals as he was played on the DL for a week. On August 10 he returned to the field though and has gotten himself a couple hits. His current batting average for the season as a whole is .255, although it has been dropping since May when Sosa had an impressive .356 average for the month.
"He's got real good bat speed and good hand-eye coordination," said Colbrunn of Sosa's strengths and weaknesses. "Things he needs to get better on are pitch recognition and pitch selection."
Sosa said that the coaching staff has seen the ability for him to be a leadoff hitter, but he needed to work on getting balls down. He said that hitting more ground balls and line drives are what it is going to take to prove he can be the first batter in the lineup.
"He's just trying to stay with a good approach, get a good pitch to hit, and not try to do too much with it," acknowledged Colbrunn. "His game is to hit the ball on the ground and try to improve his on-base percentage and things like that by just swinging at good pitches and getting on base."
Although Sosa's focus was mainly on his offense, he had been working on his defensive skill set as well this season. As mentioned, he was perceived as the "fourth" outfielder towards the beginning of the season, but has gotten plenty of time out in the field. He said that he felt like he has been doing a good job taking ground balls, chasing fly balls, and throwing to the cutoff man.
It has been a season of development and adjustment for the young player. He said that he hopes to keep everything consistent for the last couple weeks and finish the season strong.
"He's come a long way," praised Colbrunn. "He's improved his tempo, his swing pattern, his swing path. A lot of good things have happened this year so hopefully he will just continue to get better."
Sosa Trying To Keep It Short
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