- Full name Eric Sidney Sogard
- Born 05/22/1986 in Phoenix, AZ
- Profile Ht.: 5'10" / Wt.: 180 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Arizona State
- Debut 09/14/2010
Drafted in the 2nd round (81st overall) by the San Diego Padres in 2007 (signed for $400,000).
View Draft ReportAs the Sun Devils steamed toward their first Pacific-10 Conference regular-season title since 2000, scouts and opposing coaches pointed to Sogard as perhaps the most important player on a deep roster. In fact, they gave him the highest praise a modern-day Sun Devil can get, comparing him to Dustin Pedroia, now the Red Sox' second baseman. Sogard's tools grade out better than Pedroia's for some scouts. He's a better runner with a better arm, though he lacks Pedroia's amazing intangibles. Sogard has some thump in his lefthanded bat, having hit .347 with wood last summer in the West Coast Collegiate League and near .400 for the Sun Devils this spring. What endeared him most to scouts is his improvement defensively. While he lacks Pedroia's pure hands and quick transfer, Sogard has made himself a slightly above-average defender, improving by a full grade with his hands, range and arm. He should be an offensive second baseman and average defender and may not last past the fourth round.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Sogard, whose younger brother Alex pitches in the Astros system, was a .371 career hitter in three seasons at Arizona State. He netted $400,000 from the Padres as the 81st overall pick in 2007, and he has hit at every level of the minors. He and Kevin Kouzmanoff came to Oakland in a January 2010 trade that sent Aaron Cunningham and Scott Hairston to San Diego. Sogard's tools don't blow people away, but he has hitting ability. He has a quick swing, rarely gets fooled and sprays line drives all over the field. He has some gap power and showed an improved ability to turn on pitches when he got the chance last season. He controls the strike zone and puts together quality at-bats more consistently than any hitter in the system. He has walked more than he has struck out throughout his minor league career. The A's shifted Sogard to shortstop late in 2010, and he was Sacramento's full-time shortstop last season until he was called up to the majors last July. Sogard's average speed and fringy arm strength make him a better fit at second base, where he played for most of his first four pro seasons. He has put in a lot of work with A's infield coach Mike Gallego, and his ability to handle second, short and third base enhances his utility profile. Sogard will get a chance to fill that role for Oakland in 2012.
Jed Hoyer's first trade as Padres general manager sent Sogard and Kevin Kouzmanoff to Oakland for Aaron Cunningham and Scott Hairston in January 2010. A's scouts liked Sogard when they saw him in Double-A the year before, considering him the toughest out in the Texas League. He doesn't have flashy tools, but he's a baseball rat who has always hit. Sogard has a short swing and a quick bat, allowing him to let the ball travel deep and to foul off tough pitches. He sprays line drives all over the field, though he hits too many balls in the air considering he has no more than gap power. He consistently walks as much as he strikes out, and he ranked fourth in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with 65 free passes last year. He's an average runner who had been considered a defensive liability, but Oakland was pleasantly surprised by his work in the field last year. His .979 fielding percentage as a second baseman was the best of his career, and he also improved his ability to turn double plays. His arm strength is fringy but good enough for second base. The A's gave him his first extended action at shortstop and third base as a pro, improving his profile as a utilityman with a useful bat. After making his big league debut last September, Sogard will head to spring training with a chance to earn a roster spot in Oakland.
Some opponents considered Sogard the key player on Arizona State's 2007 College World Series team, which featured 2008 first-round picks Brett Wallace and Ike Davis. A scrappy player with plus instincts, Sogard led the California League with 42 doubles in his first full season, was the second-toughest batter to strike out (10.0 plate appearances per whiff ) and ranked among the leaders in several other categories. The Padres view him as a Todd Walker clone--an offense-oriented, lefthanded-hitting second baseman. While his home run power is below-average, Sogard offers just about everything else a team could want in a hitter. He's quick to the ball, shows gap power, uses the whole field, makes easy contact and controls the strike zone. It's a different story defensively, where Sogard's range is a step short and his hands are just average. He doesn't always read the ball in the hitting zone, affecting his positioning, and struggles with consistency on the double-play pivot. His arm and speed are average. If Sogard cleans up his defense, he could pose a serious challenge to Matt Antonelli's standing as the Padres' second baseman of the future.
- Czech Republic activated 2B Eric Sogard.
- Czech Republic activated 2B Eric Sogard.