With the trade deadline just around the corner and the possible departure of Giants lefty specialist Javier Lopez a real possibility – either now or this Fall’s free agent market – it’s a good time to take a look at lefties available in the minor league system for future consideration.
Josh Osich is a 6’2 230lb LHP taken by San Francisco in the 6th round (207th overall) of the 2011 draft out of Oregon State University. Described by many as a 1st round talent, even top 10 in some circles, teams stayed away from Osich because of a history of injury. He had Tommy John surgery in 2010 while at OSU but had a successful return in 2011 – including a no hitter against UCLA and former DBacks and current Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer.
Used as both a starter and reliever in college, Osich is now working exclusively out of the pen – partially because of long term injury concern, but also due to his success and effectiveness in that role.
In his first professional season, Osich pitched at single A San Jose, going 32.1 innings (2 starts/25 relief appearances) with a 3.62 ERA 34K’s and 11BB’s. Osich started 2013 again at San Jose going 40.1 innings with a 2.45 ERA 48K’s 10BB a .213BAA and 12 saves as the teams closer and was chosen for the California/Carolina League All Star game.
Osich was promoted and made his first appearance for AA Richmond on July 2nd. So far at AA he has been hit and miss in 9 appearances posting an ERA of 9.00 in 10 innings with 2 saves. In 82.2 total Minor League innings Osich has given up just 3 HR’s.
Currently ranked as the Giants #20 prospect by MLB.com, Osich can run his fastball up in the high 90′s. Primarily considered a power arm, he does possess an effective slider and change that he’ll need to be successful at the Major League level.
Osich is projected to be ready for San Francisco in 2014- and already at AA in just the middle of his 2nd professional season, this appears to not be far off. With Javier Lopez possibly on the way out, having Osich or another lefty ready for 2014 becomes a necessity for the Giants.
In an interesting side note, Josh Osich was the battery mate at Oregon State of Giants #15 prospect C Andrew Susac.