Big Year For Sosa Coming Up

Sosa knows 2012 is an important season for him

TAMPA, FL - Outfielder Eduardo Sosa was well on his way to finally putting together a breakout season of sorts in 2011 with a strong first half in Charleston. Riddled by the injury bug in the second half, however, his development was once again stalled. He says he's completely healthy now though and he knows just how big a year 2012 is for him.

Sosa, who hit .293 with the Charleston RiverDogs before the All Star break last season, began to have nagging knee and hamstring issues in the second half, and they were contributing factors to his .210 average after the break.

A torn right pectoral muscle ended his season in mid-August and kept him out of the offseason camps too.

"I got hurt a couple of times – my knee, hamstring, pectoral muscle – it hurt me a lot though because I was doing good and they had to send me down for the rest of the season," Sosa said through the help of a translator.

He spent the next few months rehabbing his way back from the injuries and he was able to report to camp early this year, showing up to the minor league complex in early January.

"I feel really good," he said. "I'm ready to play, ready to start the season. In January I came back after rehab and felt strong again. I'm ready to play the season. It's a lot of games I know but I'm 100 percent.

"It feels good out here. I'm keeping my hands short and doing my routines, and working out in the outfield. It feels good so far."

Injuries and perhaps his shy demeanor have not allowed his great natural talent to surface just yet, but now completely healthy and seemingly coming out of his proverbial shell a little bit after earning the nickname 'Jokester' from some of his teammates, Sosa is looking to finally put things together.

"This is a very, very important year for me," he admitted. "I have to produce. Hopefully I'm able to do that, put myself on another level and maybe get on the 40-man roster."

An exceptional defensive outfielder who boasts plus speed, a very strong arm, good bat speed, and surprising power for a smaller player, he says he knows what he needs to do to become the kind of player he and the Yankees believe he could be.

"Talking with the managers and coaches, with me being the first batter, I have to swing at strikes and have a plan going up there and not swinging at everything," he said.

"I have to take everything the coaches are telling me to the plate; taking pitches, being smart, and having good at-bats."

Finally healthy once again and claiming to feel as strong as ever, Sosa says he's very confident he can do just that in 2012.

"Definitely, I feel like I can do it. I'm doing everything the coaches are telling me and the way my body is responding right now, I'm ready," he concluded.

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