Osuna Impresses With Bat and Glove

Bucs prospect Jose Osuna homers & makes 2 great defensive plays in Pirates win.

Jeff Hathhorn
March 19, 2018 - 5:46 pm
Jose Osuna

93.7 the Fan

Pirates beat the Twins 11-8 on Monday as Jose Osuna made a couple of web gems at first base and hit his 4th homer of the spring.

“He reminds me of Galarraga in the fact that he’s a big man who has quick feet and soft hands,” said manager Clint Hurdle.  Hurdle added that minor-league staffers have raved about the ability Osuna has at first.

Hurdle said Osuna has had limited time at third base and in the outfield, he will catch what he can get to.

“I’m trying to be great at the other positions,” Osuna said.  “That’s how you have to be to be in the big leagues.  I have to keep working to get that confidence in the other positions.”

The 25-year-old Venezuelan said he talks often with Sean Rodriguez, who tells him you always have to be ready to play wherever.  Osuna believes third base will come for him.

“First and third, the only difference is the glove,” Osuna said.  “They hit a ball harder over there, but you just have to catch the ball.”

The Pirates sent Osuna down to the Winter League in Venezuela a few months ago to get work at third.  It was a rough beginning.

“The first ground ball I took in Venezuela I told Henry Blanco ‘I got it’ and the next thing I know I made an error, so I said ‘I don’t got it’.”

“The fans, you have to play good, for the fans and the team,” Osuna said.  “If you don’t play good, they can send you down, even if you only play bad for one week.” 

And if you make a mistake? 

“They want to kill you.  I you make an error or don’t hit, they wait for you after the game.  It’s better if you make the plays and if you play good.”

As for the opportunity to make the Pirates Opening Day roster as cuts are coming soon.

“I have a chance, but I don’t control that,” Osuna said.  “The only thing I can control is to play hard.  It’s not my decision.  If it were up to me, I would make it.”

Kingham Roughed Up

Likely in the rotation at Triple A Indy this year, Nick Kingham started Monday, going 3.2 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits, a walk, a strikeout and two homers allowed.

“I’m trying to work on getting them out, rather than letting them hit it like they did today,” Kingham joked.  Hurdle said they want to keep Kingham stretched out because there is a chance the 26-year-old could make a spot start this year.

Other Buc Notes

Reliever Michael Feliz gave up no runs on two hits, a walk and a strikeout over a couple of innings.  Josh Smoker lasted 1.2 innings allowing an unearned run along with three hits and two walks.

Gregory Polanco had three hits, raising his average to .389.  Corey Dickerson had two hits as the Bucs used their starting outfield.  Josh Bell hit his third homer.

International League All-Star Christopher Bostick homered and drove in three runs.  Utility infielder Eric Wood had a couple of hits and scored twice.