After Peter Serruto was selected last year, another Rutgers baseball catcher signee was chosen in the MLB draft this year, Gustavo Sosa. Sosa played this year at Tottenville High School and was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 19th round, as the 567th overall selection. The Blue Jays can offer him a signing bonus up to $125,000 (possibly more if they pull from their general signing pool money). Serruto (22nd round) ultimately elected to join the Scarlet Knights and Sosa has officially until July 12 to make his decision.
Congrats to #RBaseball signee Gustavo Sosa on being selected by the @BlueJays! Catcher from Staten Island posted a .590 OBP this past season. #MLBDraft— Rutgers Baseball (@RutgersBaseball) June 5, 2019
Story: https://t.co/NIWqk9vg05 pic.twitter.com/WVhVaCYcf7
Sosa has a tall slender build (more developed in the lower body) that he also uses quite well as an infielder, usually when he gets a day off from catching. He showcases good skills behind the plate, particularly throwing out runners while also possessing natural hands as a smooth receiver. He can add muscle to his frame as he gets older, which should coincide with his development. That should give Gustavo more power to combine with his already consistent contact at the plate. He’s not an absolute masher as a hitter yet, but the potential is there. The press release from Rutgers indicates he participated in yoga and mixed martial arts which bode well for conditioning, range of motion, and reduction in (baseball-related) injury risk.
Obviously the team would benefit from the addition of First Team All-Staten Island Sosa, but they won’t be totally exposed without him. The ballclub does lose starter Tyler McNamara as its starting catcher, but Serruto flashed as a freshman and fellow freshman Andy Axelson returns in 2020 as well. You can never have enough catching depth and one of them also could find himself in the infield to get more bats in the lineup.
Others continue to wait
Tevin Murray is the next most likely member of the RU baseball family to be selected. Murray was the team’s best pitcher during the second half of 2019, when he was named second team All-Big Ten. Tevin has one year of eligibility remaining if he makes the tough decision to come back for a shot at being selected higher next season.
Closer Serafino Brito and the aforementioned catcher McNamara are the most likely graduating Scarlet Knights to get a shot at the pro level. Even if they are not drafted, they could end up rising through the ranks like Max Herrmann and John O’Reilly have done the last two years.
In addition to Sosa, three other RU commits had draftable grades and could be faced with a similar decision: Kyle Potthoff, Devon Patel, and Grant Shulman. With a strong senior season after many of these rankings are already created, others could also be a surprise selection.
More to come on these players and the impact to the program moving forward!