Pittsburgh Pirates Top 30 Prospects: Ranking from 30-25

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates /

#26, Kevin Krause, Catcher and Outfield

Kevin Krause is not known by many Pittsburgh Pirates fans.  However, he has posted very strong numbers on the offensive side of the game since joining the organization.  Krause was a ninth-round draft pick in 2014, and the second catcher the Pittsburgh Pirates took in the top 10 rounds that year.  The Stony Brooke College product was originally behind fourth round pick Taylor Gushue, but quickly surpassed him.

Krause had a strong debut as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.  In 2014, he posted a .276/.363/.560 slash line.  However, his 2015 season was delayed when he felt tightness in his throwing elbow.  As it turns out, Krause needed Tommy-John Surgery, and he missed all of 2015 and part of 2016.  Krause returned for the final 52 games in 2016.  Because of his Tommy-John Surgery, Krause saw 24 games in right field along with his time behind the dish.  Krause, who already was considered average behind the plate, may be pushed out from behind the plate because of his arm surgery.  Regardless, he did not miss a beat at the plate.  In 2016 he posted a .273/.400/.369 slash line, once again showing an advanced approach at the plate.  Even more impressive, he walked 35 times while only striking out 26 times.

Regardless of where Krause ends up defensively, he has an advanced approach at the plate, can work walks, and consistently hit.  His power did drop off last year, but that should return as he matures and goes through a traditional off-season rather than a rehabbing one.

#25, Jose Osuna, First Base and Outfield

Jose Osuna is player turning many heads in Spring Training, and he has slowly put together a strong minor league career.  The now 24 year old signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization back in 2009, and made his debut in the organization in 2010.  In the minors, he has a career slash line of .278/.330/.439.  He also has shown decent home run power, hitting more than 10 home runs in five of his seven seasons, including 16 in 2012 Low-A and 13 between Double-A and Triple-A last season. Speaking of Triple-A, last year Osuna posted a .291/.333/.482 slash line for the Indians.

Osuna brings position flexibility.  He is considered to play an average corner outfield spot and also plus defense at first base.  Like many other prospects, Osuna’s path to the majors is currently blocked.  He will start the season in Triple-A.  However, if he continues to hit the ball well in Triple-A, he could make a push to be added to the Pittsburgh Pirates bench at some point this season.