Monday, January 20, 2014

Dr B's 2014 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #26 Josh Osich

Josh Osich, LHP.  6'2", 230 lbs.  DOB:  9/13/1988.

High A:  3-1, 2.45, 40.1 IP, 10 BB, 48 K, 12 Saves.
AA:        2-3, 4.85, 29.2 IP, 12 BB, 28 K, 3 Saves.

Josh Osich has had some twists and turns in his baseball career to date.  He was coming off TJ surgery his junior season at Oregon St in 2011.  He was sensational despite not being allowed to throw a breaking ball until late in the season.  At one point he pitched a no-hitter against UCLA and was being talked about as a late first round draft pick, possibly by the Giants who were known to be scouting him.  Then he missed some games down the stretch of the college season and his draft stock dropped dramatically.  The Giants were reportedly waiting on some final medical reports before they would draft him which is why he dropped all the way to the 6'th round.

He did not make his pro debut until 2012 but he had an aggressive assignment to High A San Jose.  He pitched well, but missed some time due to recurring elbow soreness and only made 2 starts.  At one point he commented that he was more comfortable pitching out of the bullpen and wanted to stay there.  He started the 2013 season as the San Jose Closer and pitched well in that role.  He got off to a rocky start in AA Richmond after a mid-season promotion but settled down to record a 2.87 ERA over his last 10 appearances.  I found 1 article where he was quoted as saying his elbow did not bother him in 2013.

Osich features a mid-90's FB with a curve and a plus change.  On video, he has a drop and drive deliver that comes straight over the top with excellent leverage at the point of release and strong follow through.

My guess is he starts 2014 back in Richmond with a possible callup to Fresno by mid-season if he is pitching well.  He has an outside chance of pitching in the majors if a need for a LH reliever develops.


  1. If you had to choose, would you keep Kickham or Osich?

    1. Osich, although he would appear to be a greater injury risk.

    2. Close call. I think Kickham still has starter potential while Osich seems to have relegated himself to the bullpen. I was going to say that Osich is bigger, but Kickham is a big dude. Osich may have a tad more velocity than Kickham and I'm pretty sure he has a better change up.

    3. Hoping that Osich can break the long dry spell that the Giants have for developing a good lefty relief pitcher for the backend of the bullpen. I've had high hopes for D Runzler, A Hinshaw, and J Taschner in the recent past.. I grew up liking a good lefty relief pitcher from the Giants system by the name of Gary Lavelle who went on to have a good major league career.


    4. I had moved away from NoCal by the time Gary Lavelle arrived on the scene. I remember him as being one of the few bright spots on some pretty bad Giants teams. He and Greg Minton were essentially a 2 man bullpen back in the days when relievers routinely went more than 1 IP at a time. Lavelle routinely pitched 100 innings per season and put up double digit wins in 3 seasons. What a great and very underrated Giant!

    5. The 1980-82 Giants had Lavelle, Minton and Al Holland. Not THAT was a bullpen! All 3 threw about 100 innings.

    6. I liked having Lavelle and Randy Moffitt (Billy Jean King's bro) as co-closers when they were on the team together. Though the Giants didn't continue that when Minton came on the scene, Moonman was clearly the closer when he was with the Giants.

      I liked Lavelle as well, I wonder what he and Moffitt are doing today. Given the worries over Romo's elbow, I was kind of hoping the Giants might go with Back to the Future and had the two of them as co-closers like Lavelle and Moffitt. Maybe Hall and Osich can be that for us in AAA, if they end up there together.

    7. Osich for sure. A lefty who can throw mid-90's heat is a rarity (Dirty was one too, early in his career), plus he seems like he's a good pitcher to boot, with only his health and his preference for relieving apparently keeping him out of the starting rotation. He has a chance to be special for us, whereas I think Kickham can be good, but clearly a lower ceiling. I'm hoping that he can be our replacement Affeldt when the time comes (and lefties seem to last a long time, so many by then, maybe Affeldt could take over Lopez's job as super-LOOGY).