Winter Leagues: Jose Osuna and Edwin Espinal Homer

In Venezuela on Monday night, Jose Osuna lost his hitting streak, but came up big in the second game of a doubleheader. In game one, Osuna went 0-for-2 with a walk, so the nine-game hit streak is gone, but he currently has an 11-game on base streak going. He started at first base in the first game and moved to left field for the nightcap. Osuna went 2-for-3 in the second game, connecting on his second homer of the winter, while also driving in another run with a sacrifice fly. He has a .353 average through 15 games. I’ve added videos below for both of his home runs. They’re worth watching just for the home run calls.

Junior Sosa hit lead-off in game one and played center field, going 1-for-3, with a sacrifice bunt.

Francisco Diaz got the start behind the plate in game two and went 1-for-2 with an RBI, before being taken out for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. He is 1-for-6 in five games this winter.

In the Dominican, Edwin Espinal got his first start of the winter and hit a solo home run in his first at-bat. He was a late defensive replacement in his only other game. Espinal played six games last winter as one of the youngest players in the league, seeing all of his time at the end of the season.

Willy Garcia went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. It’s the first extra-base hit for Garcia, who is 4-for-21 in six games this winter. He missed a few games due to a facial injury caused by a poor headfirst slide into home plate.

Josh Wall threw a scoreless inning, getting a strikeout and giving up a walk. He only threw ten pitches in the frame.

There were only two games on the schedule on Monday in the Dominican and the second game ended up being postponed after four innings, so the stats won’t count. Andrew Lambo started at first base for the first time this winter and went 0-for-1 with a HBP. As mentioned, the stats won’t count, but that HBP would’ve been the first time he reached base this winter. He went 0-for-9 in his first three games. Mel Rojas Jr. also played in the postponed game and had a single in his only at-bat.

There was only one game in Mexico on Monday and no Pirates’ players were involved.

The league in Puerto Rico begins play on Friday. We should have the rosters for the league soon.

Osuna’s home run from Monday

Osuna’s home run last week

  • By the way Osuna reminds me of a slightly smaller ARod…He has a similar lower body and even the swing reminds me a little of Rodriguez. I will take a quarter of ARod’s career production from him.

  • Osuna has not been added to the 40 man yet right? I know he was left off last year. I would think he would be a guy with over a 50% chance of getting grabbed this year.

    • He needs to be added this off-season or he will be Rule 5 eligible. He plays a position that isn’t usually used for rule 5 picks and doesn’t have a stand-out tool(like speed and/or defense) which would be useful on the bench, so I think his chances of being picked are less than 50%. Rule 5 picks are usually used on pitchers, catchers, or a player with a plus tool, such as 70-80 speed.

      • Yes, I know in the past all 1B’s they have left off haven’t been picked. With his OF/1B versatility and young age and if he continues to have a monster winter, and the need for an OF corner/1B on the mlb roster I think he would be worth eating a spot with. He can replace some middle relief project.

  • John,
    Can I start getting excited over Osuna yet? 🙂

    • Imo he has always hit, power is not ideal for the position hopefully it will come. Wrote before that he will be J. Bell platoon partner in two years.

      • I can’t see Josh Bell being a platoon player in the majors. When he comes up, he’s playing everyday

        • Initially, sure, but he’s got a long, long way to go toward proving he can be a productive 1B from the right side. No value in the field or on the bases means he’ll have to rake, and he’s yet to come close to doing that.

    • Sure you can, but I still don’t think his upside is huge. He isn’t a big time power hitter and doesn’t take many walks. He’s also average defensively and doesn’t move well, so you’re talking about a player who really needs to add either more patience or more power(or both would be great). I’ve always liked him since seeing him play a lot during the 2012 season, but I wouldn’t call him a future star at this point.

      • Bell 30HR / 1435AB 2.1%
        Osuna 60HR / 2199AB 2.7%

        Those who saw the same AA games that I did with Bell playing would’ve been scratching their heads as to the “prospect” label. Gap, doubles power but he may find a more consistent power swing. Osuna hit some shots out of People’s Natural

  • Lambo is saving his hits for next season.