JOSE OSUNA
FIRST BASEMAN
  Born: December 12, 1992
Height: 6′ 2″
Weight: 213
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: Int. FA, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2011
How Acquired: Int. FA
Birthplace: Venezuela
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Osuna was one of several Latin American outfielders at the lower levels of the Pirates’ system who showed the potential to develop into good prospects.  While the others (Willy Garcia, Luis Urena, Gregory Polanco) are tall, lean players whose skills were still very raw when they reached the GCL, Osuna was already strongly built and had much better current hitting ability.  He was originally a pitcher, but signed with the Pirates as a hitter after his velocity dropped.  He has a very good approach at the plate, especially for his age, as he seldom chases bad pitches.  He moved to first during the 2011 season and is likely to stay there.  He’s not exceptionally agile around the bag and doesn’t run well.

2010
VSL:  251/325/465, 215 AB, 16 2B, 10 HR, 19 BB, 35 K, 2-6 SB

Osuna was one of the better power hitters in the VSL in 2010, leading the league in HRs at age 17.

2011
R:  331/400/511, 178 AB, 14 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 18 BB, 21 K, 3-5 SB
A-:  250/333/375, 8 AB, 1 2B, 1 BB

Got off to a very fast start in the GCL and, although he cooled off a little, he continued to hit well all summer.  He had almost as many walks as Ks, which is impressive for an 18-year-old who hits with power.  He fanned just a little more than once every nine ABs.  He played left field initially, but moved to first about halfway through the GCL season, probably to make way for the other, faster outfielders.  He had two errors in twenty games, so the move at least wasn’t a disaster.  He got into two games at State College at the end of the season.  BA rated him the 5th best prospect in the GCL.

2012
A:  280/324/454, 482 AB, 36 2B, 16 HR, 31 BB, 82 K, 4-8 SB

The Pirates moved Osuna to West Virginia, where he was the regular first baseman.  For most of the season he didn’t hit especially well or poorly, except for a blistering hot July when he hit 336/366/645 with nine HRs.  His power needed time to pick up, as he didn’t hit a HR until well into May.  He doesn’t have great bat speed and so much of the time hits the ball to the opposite field.  He didn’t strike out a lot, but his walk rate dropped well below where it had been previously.  He had a reverse platoon split, posting an OPS of .673 against LHPs and .817 against RHPs.

2013
A+:  244/298/357, 454 AB, 25 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 35 BB, 76 K, 18-24 SB

Osuna’s hitting fell off considerably at Bradenton, especially his power.  He had a more conventional platoon split than the year before, with a .698 OPS against LHPs and .628 against RHPs.  He struggled severely on the road in the extreme pitchers’ environs of the Florida State League, posting a .528 OPS.  He hit fairly well at McKechnie Field, at .798.

2014
A+:  296/347/458, 365 AB, 23 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 28 BB, 72 K, 4-6 SB

Osuna returned to Bradenton and improved significantly.  This time he hit only slightly better at home, so McKechnie didn’t account for the solid numbers.  Another factor in Osuna’s favor was that he was still young for the level, at 21.  He had a moderate platoon split, with a .888 OPS against LHPs and .774 against RHPs.  Osuna spent a month on the disabled list, starting at the beginning of May.  He had a strong second half, putting up an OPS of .821 in July and .929 in August.  After collecting only 13 extra base hits in his first 42 games, he had 23 in his last 55.

Osuna should move up to Altoona in 2015, where he’ll need to continue making progress with the bat given that he’s limited to first. He’s eligible for the Rule 5 draft, but he’d probably be a long shot to be selected given his positional limitation.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2015: Minor League Contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $250,000
MiLB Debut: 2011
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2016
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
December 5, 2009: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.