Lenyn Sosa continues to focus on fundamentals with the Chicago White Sox after his recent call-up from Triple A – Boston Herald
Lenyn Sosa hit a laser of a liner to center field in the third inning Friday against the Colorado Rockies.
Center fielder Brenton Doyle raced back, jumped and made a catch.
His next time up in the fifth, Sosa ripped a liner to right. Charlie Blackmon had to jump to make the catch, robbing Sosa again.
Sosa had exit velocities of 106.9 and 105.9 mph, respectively, in those at-bats at Coors Field. And no hits to show for it.
“It’s part of the game,” the White Sox infielder said through an interpreter before Saturday’s game. “They made good plays and they deserve all the credit.”
Sosa went 0-for-3 Friday in the Sox’s 14-1 loss after being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte.
“I just need to keep doing what I was doing in the minors — be patient and hopefully if I’m good doing that, sooner than later the hits are going to start coming,” Sosa said. “You could see last night, I had two hard-hit balls. But they caught them. Just try to be patient.”
The No. 16 prospect in the organization according to MLB.com, Sosa started at second Friday and was back in the lineup Saturday batting ninth and playing second.
Sosa, 23, is slashing .271/.313/.507 with 17 doubles, 17 home runs and 44 RBIs in 71 games with Charlotte this season. He’s 9-for-71 (.127) with one home run and three RBIs in 23 games with the Sox.
He worked on avoiding expanding the strike zone while with the Knights.
This is his third stint with the Sox this season. He said the previous times showed him “that you have to mature very fast at this level. Because up here, the game speeds up.”
Sosa returned to the Sox as outfielder/designated hitter Eloy Jiménez went on the paternity list. The Sox also needed some infield depth with shortstop Tim Anderson serving a five-game suspension.
“When we sent him down we talked about the type of baseball we wanted him to play,” manager Pedro Grifol said Friday. “We’ll evaluate it day by day. I want to see him play up here and compete for a job, not just this year but next year. There’s a certain style of baseball we want to see him play, and he’s going to have to meet that style.”
Grifol said that includes “whatever it takes to win a baseball game.”
“He has tools to do that,” Grifol said. “He can run, he can make contact, he can have a two-strike approach if he wants to. He can bunt, he’s a smart player.”
Grifol said the reports from Triple-A “at times” showed those improvements.
“They were a little bit inconsistent, but those are the reasons I’ll have my conversations with him,” Grifol said. “He’s having a good year down there. Showed some power. But there are things we want him to do.”
Sosa said the message from Grifol has been “execute the fundamentals,” including “move the runner, do the routine plays, put the ball in play.”
Infielder Elvis Andrus has been among the Sox players aiding Sosa.
“The sky’s the limit for him,” Andrus said Friday. “He hasn’t shown what he’s capable of doing. It’s normal. When you’re young not everybody gets to come to the big leagues and produce right away. Sometimes it takes you a little longer. For him, that’s the case.
“He has an amazing work ethic. Great kid, listens and works hard. I have no doubt the future is going to be very bright for him.”
Sosa is trying to echo some of the advice from Andrus when he’s at the plate.
“I’m just trying to be calm and relaxed in my at-bat,” Sosa said, “and just try to take advantage of the mistakes the pitchers make here.”
Sosa’s home run this season was impressive. Facing Minnesota Twins closer Jhoan Duran on April 12 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Sosa hit a 101.4-mph fastball over the wall in right-center for his second career homer.
That type of at-bat gives Sosa confidence.
“I know the kind of talent that I have,” he said. “I know what I can do. And it’s just a matter for me to be able to bring all that together and display it here.”
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