Advanced stats from 2021 that matter for St. Louis Cardinals
Edmundo Sosa ranks 49th in the MLB in max exit velocity (114.6 mph)
One spot to applaud former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt on how he managed the team in 2021 was his willingness to make changes at the shortstop position. By all accounts, it was not a good year for Opening Day starter Paul DeJong.
Outside of July, DeJong was terrible in 2021 and he lost playing time because of it. With his struggles, the opportunity was there for young Edmundo Sosa to step up and play in some big games down the stretch.
Known for his glove, Sosa had 8 DRS at shortstop playing in 113 games last season. His defense was as advertised, but it is his bat that will decide whether he’s a utility infielder or a starter at this level. In all, Sosa’s 104 wRC+ and .735 OPS is solid (better than DeJong), but there is one stat that shows more potential with Sosa and his bat. Maximum exit velocity.
Most fans have started to pick up on average velocity being important, but recently the discussion about max exit velocity and its usefulness has grown. In short, max exit velocity is an indicator of power that a player has. Now-top prospect Jordan Walker showed up on prospect radars because of his huge max exit velocity numbers, and Sosa, surprisingly, excels in this single data point stat too.
Registering a max exit velocity of 114.6 mph on this hit, Sosa ranks 49th in baseball which is good for the 93rd percentile in this stat. This isn’t an argument to say that Sosa is going to become a power hitter or anything like that, but it’s at least intriguing to see that he has that type of pop somewhere in his swing. Like any stat, it’s just one tool in a box full of lots of ways to describe something. For Sosa, this is an interesting thing to follow because it was the second-hardest hit ball of the season (the hardest and third hardest were hit by Justin Williams).