KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Houston Astros prospect Alex Sogard has some work to do if he wants to join his brother Eric in the major leagues.
The 26-year-old left hander has aspects of his game he needs to improve, but believes with the help of the Astros organization, and some advice from his brother, he will be able to make it to the big leagues.
Sogard has worked with the coaches within the Astros organization to try and get his pitching up to speed.
During his time in the Arizona Fall League this past November, Sogard and Astros new major league pitching coach, Brett Strom, practised “overall consistency, keeping the walks down, and repeating his delivery.”
Sogard is aware of what he needs to do to climb up the Astros’ organization.
Keeping his pitches near the strike zone will be key if Sogard reaches the majors, along with limiting his walks.
When he was called up to Triple A Oklahoma City last year his walk rate per nine innings was 7.4.
“That’s always been an issue of mine, but I know if I’m around the plate I have success,” said the Phoenix native. “Get guys out, that’s your job as a pitcher. Especially as a lefty reliever.”
When asked what he wanted to accomplish during this spring in Kissimmee, Sogard said he focus is on getting playing time.
“Hopefully I can get a chance to pitch in some games with the big-league club.”
Sogard has also received help from outside the Astros organization, seeking advice from brother Eric, who is the starting shortstop for the Oakland Athletics.
The advice has nothing to do with pitching mechanics or consistency, but how to approach the game.
“It is the same game at every level,” said Sogard. “Even in the big leagues, don’t try to make it any bigger than it is.”
Even though Sogard is only 14 months younger, the brothers have never been able to compete against each other.
However, considering they both play in the American League West, that day might soon come.