Lenyn Sosa’s first stint in the major leagues did not go as planned. He went 1-for-12 during his first 13 at-bats before getting sent back down to Charlotte. His second stint is off to a much better start.
The White Sox called him back up on August 7th, and he made sure to take advantage of the opportunity. On Tuesday night, the 22-year-old hit his first career home run. It came in the top of the third inning off Kansas City Royals starter Jonathan Heasley during the second game of the White Sox doubleheader.
Sosa pounced on a hanging 80 mph curveball over the heart of the plate and sent it 428 feet into the left field fountain at Kauffman Stadium. As he rounded the bases, he smiled at the thought of his family jumping up and down in celebration back home.
“That was a very special moment,” Sosa told reporters after the game.
Despite the ball landing in the water, the White Sox were able to track down the ball and give it to Sosa. While Sosa’s homerun was the highlight of his night, it wasn’t the only contribution he made to the White Sox 3-2 victory.
Lenyn Sosa's first big league homer! pic.twitter.com/sfxq95uNNd
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) August 10, 2022
He recorded a single in the top of the fifth inning, then lined out to left field in the seventh. That lineout should have been part of a 3-for-3 night if it wasn’t for a diving effort by day by Royals left fielder Nate Eaton. Sosa’s lineup had a .910 expected batting average based on exit velocity.
The door is wide open for Sosa to make an impression with the big league ball club.
With Tim Anderson on the shelf for the next 4-6 weeks with a torn ligament in his middle finger, Sosa figures to see an increased role with the team.
“The more you do, the more you play,” Tony La Russa said when asked about Sosa.
Sosa has done a bit of everything during his 85 games in the minor leagues. The White Sox’s No. 21 ranked prospect is batting .316 with 16 home runs, 58 RBIs, and a .878 OPS. If those numbers can translate to the big leagues, it could be just what the White Sox need to rejuvenate the offense during Tim Anderson’s absence.
La Russa hinted that Sosa should see playing time at shortstop or second base if he continues to show some pop. Shortstop would make the most sense for Sosa. Josh Harrison has been on a tear of late, batting .300 with three home runs in his last 15 games. There is no reason to move him from second base. Meanwhile, Leury Garcia is batting just .211 this season and is a questionable defender at shortstop.
It is unfair to put pressure on Sosa to be the White Sox savior. He is just a rookie and is getting his feet wet amid a pennant race. The White Sox and their fans should temper their expectations for him. But this season, Sosa’s play in the minor leagues has been enough to earn a fair look on the big league club. There is no way to assess his ability unless he is allowed some consistent playing time.
Missing Tim Anderson is less than ideal, but Rick Hahn’s lack of moves during the offseason and trade deadline has put the White Sox in this position. Without depth, you have to put some trust in an unproven rookie to pick up the slack.