POSITION: Left-handed pitcher
BORN ON: November 25, 1987
AGE: 20 years old
BORN IN: Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
LIVES IN: Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
WEIGHT: 165 pounds
ACQUIRED: Signed by the Braves as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2004
SIGNED BY: Julian Perez and Manuel Samaniego
STATISTICSClick here for Osuna's 2007 stats
SCOUTING REPORTEdgar Osuna just missed being eligible for the ERA race in the Appy League. His 2.47 mark would have been third best in the league if he had one more inning pitched. But that does not diminish Osuna's very impressive season with the Danville Braves.
Osuna was seventh in the league with 66 strikeouts in his 54.2 innings. He allowed 55 hits and walked only 11 batters. Osuna now has a 1.62 ERA in 122 minor league innings, with 141 strikeouts and only 19 walks.
While his stats have been impressive, Osuna's overall stuff is very average. His fastball is between 82 and 86 mph. But his changeup is an above average pitch. Osuna has good pitchability, a good idea of when to throw what pitch. And that changeup keeps hitters off stride. He just throws a lot of offspeed stuff, with good command of both the change and the curveball.
But a small lefty that can only hit mid-80s with a fastball? Well, there are not many Jamie Moyer-type pitchers out there. But Osuna's ability to get people out cannot be ignored. He's still got a lot to prove, but some good seasons in A-ball will get him recognized even more.
Until he has that success, however, Osuna is not going to be thought of in the same category as the ‘three lefties.' Jeff Locke, Steve Evarts, and Chad Rodgers all have more impressive stuff, so they're going to get more attention.
2008 OUTLOOKExpect the Braves to perhaps put Osuna in a piggyback situation with one of the other young starters headed to Rome. It will be good for Osuna to get significant innings (like over 100) this season. Then a better projection can perhaps be made on Osuna's future. Both Osuna and Jose Ortegano have put up unbelievable numbers in the minors so far, but the South Atlantic League will be a good test to see if they belong in the same conversation as the ‘three lefties.' If they both have decent seasons, perhaps that label will be changed to include them as well.
ADDITIONAL STORY LINKSClick here for Osuna's 2007 Player Profile
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta and 105.5 the Fan in Macon. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.