Joe LaSorsa used to attend Hudson Valley Renegades games at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill with his family and to watch friends compete when they were in town. Now, his family and friends are coming to see him play.
The Iona Preparatory School graduate was selected in the 18th round of last month’s Major League Baseball Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays and was assigned to the team’s New York-Penn League Class A short-season affiliate in Fishkill.
“I’m just really happy to be here,” LaSorsa told CNY. “I never thought I’d be able to play here one day. When I found out I was drafted by the Rays and they were sending me to Hudson Valley, it was the greatest thing ever because I knew friends and family would want to come see me almost every day and I love that.”
The 6-foot-5-inch left-handed pitcher picked up his first professional win with three innings of shutout relief, allowing one hit and striking out two in a 5-1 victory over the Aberdeen IronBirds June 23.
“I’m starting off out in the pen and I’ll take it from there,” he said. “I think they have hopes of me being a starter, but right now because of the innings I threw in my junior year” at St. John’s University this spring “I know they just want me to take it easy this year. Otherwise for there on out, whatever role they tell me to do and whatever day they give me the ball, I’m just gonna compete.”
As a high school senior captain, LaSorsa led Iona Prep to the 2016 CHSAA City Championship and was named the CHSAA Player of the Year. He was 9-2 with a 1.01 earned run average and 87 strikeouts in 69 innings, and he tossed two no-hitters. LaSorsa also hit .321.
“Our entire baseball program is so excited for Joe LaSorsa to begin his professional baseball career,” said Iona Prep varsity baseball coach and assistant athletic director Ryan Mahoney. “Joe was one of the most competitive, hardest-working players we have had the pleasure to work with, and we look forward to following his career.
“Joe was a true leader for our program and watching him be awarded the CHSAA Player of the Year was a testament to his earnest effort and dedication to his craft.”
LaSorsa, a second-team All-Big East selection in 2017 and a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American, was a reliever in his first two seasons at St. John’s. This spring, he started in 14 of his 15 appearances. In three seasons at St. John’s, he was 17-6 with a 1.96 earned run average and held opponents to a .221 batting average.
“When I first arrived as a freshman at Iona, they instructed a lot of core values, morals and beliefs that really shaped me into the player I am today,” LaSorsa said. “Once I went (to St. John’s, a Catholic university), I was picking up right where I left off. The coaches were the exact same way.
“It was a really smooth transition for me because I knew that was my type of style of instruction and beliefs. Now, I’m still carrying that on into pro ball.”