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June 20, 2011

BP Unfiltered

J2 Spotlight: Roberto Osuna, A Seven-Figure Talent

by Jason Parks

With the July 2nd window quickly approaching, I wanted to post a scouting report on a seven-figure talent that I've had the privilege of watching in person. Power arms are always in high-demand, and one of the best arms in the market belongs to 15 year-old Mexican right-hander Roberto Osuna. Based on what I've seen, Osuna should be a high-priority target for several teams, although the process of signing Mexican talent can be a bit more complicated (expensive) because of the relationship between the player and the Mexican League team that owns their rights.

Name: Roberto Osuna
DOB: 7/2/95
Birthplace: Sinaloa, Mexico
HT/WT: 6'1''/200+
Position: RHP

Body: Large frame with immature body (not toned); thick lower-half; big barreled chest;
Arm slot: 3/4
Delivery: Smooth with easy and fluid arm action; very quick arm; keeps a good line to plate; high front-side helps hide ball; uses legs well.

Fastball: 88-90 (T92). Some movement to the arm-side. Room for more velocity because of easy arm action and clean delivery. Elevated in the zone when he missed. Wasn't able to maintain good angle on the pitch because of inconsistent arm-slot. Projects to be a plus pitch, with enough velocity at present to dream of an even higher grade.

Curveball/Slurve: 72-77. Pitch got slurvy at times, but had some feel for it and threw the pitch off the fastball (on the FB plane). Was a little deliberate in delivery and didn't stay on top of it. Was too slow at 72 mph and had more fade than break. Swing and miss offering at 76-77 mph with good two-plane movement and 11/5 shape. Projects to be solid-average to plus pitch, but big separation between present/future.

Changeup: 76-80 mph: Splitter-like movement on the heavily pronated changeup. He tipped it by fanning his glove pre-pitch. Pitch features some late-drop, but like the slurve, Osuna slowed down on delivery and telegraphed the offering. I spoke with a few hitters after the game and they knew what he was throwing and picked up the ball early. Not a concern giving his age/experience. The movement of the pitch itself was impressive, as the depth and movement showed promise.

Summation: Not a fan of the body, but the arm is very fast and his delivery smooth for the size. The arm has a good breaking ball in it; can currently spin a good curve but struggled to stay over it and it got slurvy. Changeup had some vertical movement but he tipped it by adjusting the grip in the glove before the delivery. Was slower/more deliberate to plate on secondary stuff. Good feel for the mound and repeated mechanics pretty well for age. I like the arm quite a bit, but not the body. Could develop power arsenal. It's not hard to envision a plus (60) FB, 55/60 CB, 50 CH arsenal, with some command and feel for pitching. Seven-figure player.

Jason Parks is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

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<< Previous Article
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Next Column >>
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