Southern University’s Jose De La Torre, one of HBCU baseball’s top all-around fielding and hitting catchers, has become great at handling the team’s pitching staff, throwing out would be base stealers and is a definite power hitting threat.
Offensively, he hit .278 with a .525 slugging percentage, 9 doubles, 10 home runs, and 46 runs batted in. The 10 round-trippers ranked fifth best in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) last year. Defensively, he had 318 putouts while finishing tops in the catching department, throwing out 22 would-be base stealers in a conference that ranks among the best nationally in stolen bases.
Last season, De La Torre was a plus contributor all through Southern’s regular season stretch-run which included two seven game win streaks and the SWAC Baseball Tournament.
There are eighteen other HBCU Division I programs that would love to have a catcher who could give them that level of input on offense and defense. Expectations for him will be very high coming into the season, and it will be interesting to see if he can find another gear to kick in.
De La Torre was named to the 2016 Black College Nines’ HBCU preseason baseball All-American First Team for the large school Division (DI). Still, there’s room for more. A good prospect during his high schools days in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, De La Torre became better at the college level.
The Jaguars will go into the 2016 season with high expectations from the pitching staff which will be led by returnees Tyler Robinson, Harold Myles and J’Markus George. All three saw significant innings last year and all will have an impact for legendary head coach Roger Cador.
De La Torre, at 6′-1″ 220 lbs, is that prototypical Division I Major League catching prospect baseball scouts look for. That, plus his leadership skills and doing all the other things De La Torre does well has everyone excited for this upcoming Southern University Jaguar’s season to get underway!