Jamie Gatlin | September 4th, 2019
Over the past few seasons, Jose Osuna has been one of the Pirates most interesting prospects. The Venezuelan native was signed by Pittsburgh a decade ago but never appeared on any top prospect lists. The Pirates, however, saw something in Osuna and invited him to Spring Training in 2017. Despite an impressive spring Osuna did not make the team out of camp but was one of the final cuts. Unfortunately for the Pirates super-utility weapon he was unable to build off his impressive camp and hit .233 in 104 games. So far this year, however, Osuna is living up to the potential Pittsburgh saw in him.
As the Pirates have fallen out of the playoff picture, their younger players such as Osuna have gotten more playing time. The Pirates super-utility weapon has risen to the challenge as he is batting .281 in 70 games. He has also set a new career-high in home runs with 10 and runs batted in with 31.
Additionally, the twenty-six-year-old has been an extra-base hit machine. Of Osuna’s 47 hits 25 have gone for extra bases. His OPS has risen to substantially to .877, which is two hundred points higher than last season.
Ever since being recalled in early June Osuna has provided the Pirates with a steady bat. Although he has cooled off after a scorching hot first month in which he hit over .300 his average has not fallen below .270. Whether it is off the bench or as a starter, Osuna has found a way to make an impact.
As the Pirates try to build their next playoff team, September will be an important month for their former prospect. Although there is not an obvious spot for Osuna, his versatility will help him land a role next year. For that to happen, he must continue to improve in the final month of the regular season.
In August, Osuna was one of the Pirates top run producers as he had 13 runs batted in. He is not expected to carry this team offensively, but it was the second month this season he reached double digits. One of the reasons for his improved production is his exit velocity of 90.3, which is above the league average.
If Osuna can continue his performance at the plate, then he could be an interesting option next year. After a disappointing 2019 for the Pirates, there are expected to be numerous changes in the offseason. As a result, many player’s futures on the Pirates roster are uncertain.
Fortunately for the twenty-six-year-old, he is showing why the Pirates have always held him in high regard. September will be Osuna’s final test but it is a challenge that he has been waiting for.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images