The absence of competitive minor league games during the 2020 season wasn’t ideal, though a lot of players made the best of their situations and looked to find ways to improve their games.
One to do so was Osvaldo Bido, who had a strong season in 2019, but wasn’t missing as many bats as you would like to see.
Bido was signed late (21 years old) due to having poor control and a frame that could be described as painfully skinny. He also had a fastball that hit 95 MPH.
The Pirates were able to improve his control tremendously after one season in the Dominican Summer League. By 2018, scouts from other organizations were starting to notice Bido climbing onto the radar. He impressed with his array of pitches, his control, and velocity.
Bido spent the majority of the 2019 season with the Greensboro Grasshoppers, then the Single-A affiliate for the Pirates, before closing out the year strong with High-A Bradenton. He had a 3.55 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP while playing in the hitter-friendly Greensboro, followed by a 2.25 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in Bradenton.
Despite these numbers, Bido was striking out less than 20% of the batters he faced. Bido has never really a big strikeout guy, punching out just 18.6% of the batters he faced in his career, heading into 2020.
Whatever he did during the break, it worked, as Bido’s strikeouts have taken a step forward in each of the two years since — averaging a 23% strikeout rate.
This past season, Bido struck out a career high 122 batters, finishing third in the entire system behind Jared Jones and Luis Ortiz.
Bido combines a mid-90s fastball with a slider and changeup. To help with the deception on the fastball, he also throws a cutter.
The video above looks at Bido facing lefties. Bido is able to work up in the zone with the fastball, as well as both sides of the plate. While he does mix in the slider against lefties, he does fade a changeup away after establishing the fastball.
The first batter in that clip was Derek Fisher, a former first round pick out of UVA. He works the fastball early in the count, before getting him with the changeup for the strikeout. Later on in the game he took the same approach and was still able to get the same results.
Facing righties, Bido goes mainly fastball/slider, mixing in the cutter away. The second batter in this video, against Jose Miranda, Bido goes slider heavy early in the count, before finishing the hitter off with a fastball on the corner for a called strike three.
When Bido saw an increase in his strikeouts last year, it would have been easy to chalk it up to being 25-years-old pitching in Double-A. After taking another step forward in 2022 with Indianapolis, his increase started looking more real.
It came at a cost, however, as he also posted a 12.6% walk rate in 2022 — up from 2021. He can leave the slider up in the zone at times, which he can get punished for.
That being said, even if he isn’t really a candidate to start in the majors, the fact he transformed himself from an organizational player into a potential multi-inning reliever is impressive.
With some of the top pitching prospects expected to start in Indianapolis next year, that will probably push Bido to the bullpen full-time now, but that does give the Pirates a good chance to see just how well he fits in that role and if he can put himself in a position to get a call-up.