What Is The Future Of Jose Osuna?


What is the future of prospect Jose Osuna?

This past offseason Jose Osuna was eligible for the Rule Five Draft. Due to this, the Pirates added him to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule Five Draft. And this is a move that could prove to be a very smart one.

Throughout his Minor League career the first baseman/outfielder has always hit. His ability to hit flashed in Spring Training last year and is flashing again this spring. So, what does the future hold for the 24-year old Venezuelan?

In 2,944 Minor League plate appearances Jose Osuna owns a .278/.330/.439/.770 slash line. This includes 73 home runs and a strong 15.6 percent strikeout rate. He has also posted a wRC+ above league average (100) at each stop in the Minor Leagues with the exception of his first stop at High-A in 2013.

His power has also been on a steady upward trajectory. In 2015 his ISO was .149 at both High-A and Double-A. Last season, his ISO was .166 at Double-A Altoona and then jumped to .191 at Triple-A Indianapolis.

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While Jose Osuna will not make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training, he is certainly making a lasting impression. Thus far in Spring Training he is 6-for-11 with a double and two home runs. This comes after Osuna his .625 with a home run in Grapefruit League play in 2016.

Jose Osuna also has a swing that will allow him to continue to be a successful hitter. His swing is quick through the zone and does not get long or loopy. This helps him to cover a lot of holes on the plate, which is a big reason why he has a low strikeout rate in his Minor League career.

Another factor working in Osuna’s favor is his positional flexibility. The past six seasons Pirate fans have learned that Clint Hurdle, like most Major League managers, loves players that can play multiple positions and Osuna fits this bill. Jose Osuna can play first base as well as the corner outfield positions. Which is always a very good trait for a player to have.

Odds are, Jose Osuna will never be an everyday player in Pittsburgh. Due to Austin Meadows, Josh Bell, Gregory Polanco, and Starling Marte first base and the outfield will be very crowded for the foreseeable future.

However, Osuna could be a very good bench player for the Bucs. Additionally, he could serve as good trade bait for the Pirates this summer or offseason. Regardless of what the role is or what team it is with, Osuna should have a bright future in the Major Leagues.

Jose Osuna seems to project as a poor man’s Allen Craig. Osuna should be a .270-.280 hitter in the Major Leagues, with around a .340 on-base percentage, and averaging 40-45 extra base hits per season. The positions he plays are also the same as Craig.

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As the 2017 season progresses Jose Osuna will be a player worth keeping an eye on at Triple-A. Due to his pure hitting ability and positional flexibility, Osuna should make his Major League debut at some point in 2017. He has all the tools needed to be a good Major League hitter.