Sharp Stuff Belies Youth Of Jays' Osuna
TORONTO—Roberto Osuna could still be pitching in high school. Instead, the 18-year-old righthander is preparing for his second season in the Blue Jyas organization.
The native of Juan Jose Rios, Mexico, went 2-0, 2.27, in 12 games, including nine starts, between Rookie-level Bluefield and short-season Vancouver in 2012.
"He's not a finesser, he's physical and has power stuff," assistant general manager Tony LaCava said. "He can pitch with a plus fastball and he really can locate it. He's got advanced secondary stuff as well, a slider and a good changeup. He throws a lot of strikes. We think he's got a bright future."
Osuna made his professional debut as a 16-year-old for the Mexico City Red Devils of the Mexican League in 2011 and was 0-1, 5.49 in 13 games. Antonio Osuna, his uncle, spent 11 seasons in the majors as a reliever and his father pitched in Mexico. "So he's been around it his whole life," LaCava said. "And he's been battle tested against older guys."
Osuna first caught the Blue Jays' attention when former director of Latin American operations Marco Paddy (who now is with the White Sox) was scouting righthander Luis Heredia, who signed with the Pirates.
"Marco said that he liked Heredia quite a bit, but he thought Osuna, who was coming up the next year, was possibly as good or better," LaCava said. "The following year we stayed with him and Marco saw him numerous times. We had some scouts, including me, see him. We saw him when he came to the Texas Rangers spring training site for a game in which he pitched against Rangers minor league players.
"He performed OK that day. He held his own. He was 15 at the time facing professional players who were in their late teens, early 20s. He didn't dominate but he battled. His delivery worked and his arm action worked and so forth. We were able to work out a deal that summer and last year he had a really strong first season for us. He's got a great disposition, a really good kid and a good teammate."
• Toronto lost righthander Sam Dyson on a waiver claim by the Marlins. He was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for infielder Mark DeRosa, who signed as a free agent.
• The Blue Jays extended their affiliation agreement with Vancouver through 2016. The Canadians have won the Northwest League championship in each of their two seasons since being affiliated with the Blue Jays.