EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 13, 2013

Minor League report: Lawrence's Sosa putting up big numbers for Triple-A team

By Michael Muldoon
mmuldoon@eagletribune.com

---- — Wouldn’t it be something if the city of Lawrence produced a Major Leaguer?

It’s can be a long ways away, but Ruben Sosa is playing Triple-A ball and he’s playing at a high level.

The 22-year-old, 5-7, 170-pounder is off to a fine start with the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Houston Astros organization) of the Pacific Coast League.

Playing in the city where he had great success as a collegian, Sosa is batting .345 (10 of 29) in 11 games. He’s scored six runs, driven in three and is 5 of 6 on steals. He’s played second base, DH and outfield.

Sosa jumped from Single A ball, where he was hitting .300 (15 of 60) with Quad-Cities.

The former Lawrence High star just has to ask Terry Doyle how fickle this game can be.

He’s been knocking on the door of the majors for years, shining at the highest levels of the minors and Japanese ball but has yet to pitch in a regular-season major league game.

The former two-time Eagle-Tribune MVP at Salem High will turn 28 in November but he’s still determined.

The 6-4, 240-pound ex-BC star was 5-6 with a 5.60 ERA with the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. He had fanned 64 and walked 39 in 80.2 innings.

He was recently demoted to Class AA Portland. He took the loss in his only appearance to date but scattered seven hits and gave up just two runs (both earned). He struck out five and walked two in the eight-inning stint wit the Red Sox minor league affiliate.

The Sea Dogs will be playing the Fisher Cats in Manchester Monday-Wednesday.

Zach Mathieu of Derry

Kingsport (Tenn.)

Appalachian League (Rookie)

Many a Major Leaguer can look back and laugh about some painful beginnings in pro ball. Mathieu, the former Pinkerton Academy and Franklin Pierce great, hopes he’ll someday be telling that story.

It’s been a brutal start for the towering 6-7, 255-pound, 21-year-old. Mathieu is 0 for 25 with 11 strikeouts. He’s walked four times and scored two runs. The first baseman, a 16th-round pick in June, has handled 56 of 57 chances in the field.

Mike Yastrzemski of Andover

Aberdeen (Md.)

N.Y.-Penn League (Class A)

After earning All-SEC first-team honors, Yastrzemski, a four-year starter at Vanderbilt, was chosen by GM Dan Duquette and the Orioles in the 14th round last month.

It’s been a smooth transition for the third-generation pro ballplayer. He’s hitting .314 (11 of 35), with 5 runs, 4 RBIs, 2 steals, 6 walks and 6 strikeouts and most impressively a .455 on-base percentage.

He’s been flawless while playing all three outfield positions and has one assist.

The IronBirds, who are owned by Cal Ripken Jr., will be in Lowell playing the Spinners Aug. 26-28.

John Farrell of Andover

Hudson Valley (N.Y.)

N.Y.-Penn League (Class A)

Farrell, 22, was a 21st-round pick by the Rays after a record-setting career at William and Mary. He someday hopes to make it two John Farrells in the major leagues.

In three starts totalling 5.1 innings, he has no decisions and an 8.44 ERA. He’s fanned four and walked two.

Farrell and the Renegades will be in Lowell playing the Spinners Aug. 16-18.

Michael Johnson of Georgetown

Arizona Rookie League

After dominating at Brooks and Dartmouth, the 22-year-old, 14th-round pick by the Dodgers has had an up-and-down start in pro ball.

The southpaw had a 14.73 ERA with five walks and three strikeouts in 3.2 innings with the Ogden (Utah) Raptors but pitched a shutout inning with two strikeouts in his debut with the Dodgers’ Arizona Rookie League team.

Dennis Torres of Lawrence

Delmarva (Md.)

Sally League (Class A)

The hard-throwing Torres went from never even making the team at Central Catholic to starring at UMass to being drafted in the 28th round by the Orioles in 2012.

In 14 appearances and 22.2 innings this year the 6-3, 200-pounder is 1-2 with a 3.97 ERA, 19 strikeouts, 14 walks and one save.

Follow Michael Muldoon on Twitter under the screen name @MullyET.