Continuing to look at some of the Pirates’ prospects, starting in the outfield….
Junior Sosa — L/L, 5′ 10″ , 139 lb
Sosa is a Venezuelan outfielder, who just turned 20 years old in October. After two seasons in the Venezuelan Summer League, Sosa made his US debut in 2010 with the GCL Pirates. His speed made him a good fit in center field, which is where he played most of his games (just a few in left and right fields). He had not been doing much base-stealing in the VSL, but once he got to the GCL, Sosa got moving and did a lot of stealing (20 bases), showing off that speed. Sosa is not a big guy, and he has not developed much power at all, but he was an effective lead-off batter, with a solid .296 average and a .379 OBP. He could improve his walk rate — he walked just 18 times, but he only struck out 20 times. Sosa was hottest in July, when he hit .370 in 17 games, with 5 RBI. He stole half of his bases (10) in August. Getting on base and stealing bases is going to be his strength as he moves up, probably to State College for 2011. A big thing for Sosa to work on — he had a big differential facing right-handed vs. left-handed pitching: .333 against righties and .209 against the southpaws.
Exicardo Cayonez – L/L, 6′ 0″, 183 lb
Cayonez is another Venezuelan, a year younger than Sosa, and possibly ahead of him in development. Cayonez played just one VSL season, then moved up to the GCL for the 2010 season. Cayonez is also speedy and can probably handle center field, though he played all but 2 of his GCL games in left field in 2010. He hit .263, a little lower than Sosa, in 2010, but showed some power — 11 doubles, and 2 triples, with many of them line drives. Cayonez also had a strong month of July, hitting .333, including 5 doubles and 11 RBI, though also with 17 strikeouts. He slipped way down in August, when he hit .133, with 9 strikeouts. Cayones needs to work on getting the strikeout rate down. He might be doing that in State College, though he has a better chance than Sosa does to get a try at West Virginia