Henry Sosa Esther
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 197 lb.
Sosa was signed by scouts Pablo Peguero and Rick Ragazzo and began his professional career in 2004 with the DSL Giants, going 0-5 with a 5.30 ERA. In 2005, he improved to 5-6, 3.58 while with the same club and walked only 8 in 55 1/3 IP. He came stateside in 2006 with the AZL Giants. With them, he went 2-1 with a 3.90 ERA in nine games (six starts). He also struck out 41 batters in 32 1/3 innings while allowing just 20 hits.
In 2007, he played for the San Jose Giants and Augusta Greenjackets. He went 6-0 with a 0-73 ERA in 13 games (10 starts) with the Greenjackets and 5-5 with a 4.38 ERA in 14 starts with the Giants. He went a combined 11-5 with a 2.58 ERA in 27 games (24 starts). In 125 2/3 innings, he struck out 139 batters. Sosa then got the start in the last game of the Cal League finals and allowed 2 hits and 1 run in 4 innings as San Jose beat the Lancaster Jethawks. Baseball America named him the #7 prospect in the South Atlantic League, right behind Jordan Schafer, and the #2 prospect in the California League, between #1 Justin Upton and #3 Chris Tillman. Baseball America rated him as having the best fastball in the South Atlantic League that season.
Sosa was the 4th pitcher for the World team in the 2007 Futures Game, relieving Fautino De Los Santos with a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the 4th. He went 1-2-3, getting Jay Bruce, Chris Coghlan and Bryan Anderson all on ground balls. He was replaced by Deolis Guerra in the 5th.
He also played for the Estrellas de Oriente of the Dominican Winter League that year. For the San Jose Giants and Augusta Greenjackets in 2008, he went a combined 3-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 57 2/3 innings. He played only two games with Augusta. He had a 6-0, 2.36 record for the 2009 Connecticut Defenders but missed half the season with injury. He was 7-8 with a 4.07 ERA for the 2010 Fresno Grizzlies, with a 1.51 WHIP. He was 5th in the hitter-friendly 2010 Pacific Coast League in ERA, trailing Anthony Lerew, Michael Kirkman, Brandon Dickson and Josh Banks.
Sosa played for five teams in 2011. He started off the year with the Grizzlies (3-1, 10.41, 39 H, 17 BB in 23 1/3 IP) then was demoted to the Richmond Flying Squirrels, where he rebounded to 5-2, 2.68 with 8 walks in 40 1/3 innings. On July 19, 2011, the former prospect was traded to the Houston Astros with Jason Stoffel in return for 2B Jeff Keppinger. He was initially assigned to the Corpus Christi Hooks and did well in three starts (2-0, 2.89). Promoted to the Oklahoma City RedHawks, he tossed a scoreless 7 innings in his only outing. He was then called up by the Astros in mid-August and made his major league debut as a starter facing the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 10th. He lost 6-3 in his debut, giving up 4 runs in 6 innings. He earned his first major league win on August 25th, starting on short rest against the Giants. He held the defending World Champions to one run over 6 innings and the bullpen did the rest as the Astros won, 3-1.