Royals Select LHP-Edgar Osuna in the Rule 5 Draft

LHP-Edgar Osuna is the newest member of the Kansas City Royals 40-man roster after the team selected him 4th overall in this morning’s Rule 5 draft.  He was the only player the Royals selected this morning.  They elected to not make any picks in the Triple-A or Double-A portions of the draft.  The Royals cleared space on their 40-man by releasing John Bale and Mike Jacobs.  I’ll have more on Bale and Jacobs later tonight, but this post is all about Edgar Osuna.

22 year old Edgar Osuna was signed by the Atlanta Braves as a non-drafted free agent out of Mexico on July 2nd, 2004.  He comes to the Royals with a 3.37 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 349.2 innings pitched over 4 minor league seasons.  Osuna has 48 career starts among his 76 appearances, including starting in 26 of his 27 appearances in 2009.  He has also finsished 13 games with 9 saves to his credit.

Heading into the 2009 season, Baseball America had Edgar ranked as the 17th best prospect in the organization.  This is part of the write up they did on him:

Osuna challenges hitters with an assortment of pitches that he mixes well.  He spots his mid-80s fastball with precision and uses it to set up a plus curveball and the best changeup in the system.  He has fine control and does a good job of locating his pitches … based on his ability and pitching knowledge, he has a strong chance of finding a role in the majors.

Anytime you have the best anything in an organization it is a good sign, and having a dominant changeup can go a long way in being able to carve out an above average major league career.  With the BA quote in mind, Let’s take a look at his minor league numbers by year:

2006 GCL Braves (Rookie Ball):  19.2 IP, 0.92 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 15 H, 1 BB, 18 SO

2007 Danville Braves (Rookie Ball):  54.2 IP, 2.47 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 55 H, 11 BB, 66 SO

2008 Rome Braves (Low-A):  125.1 IP, 3.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 122 H, 31 BB, 135 SO

2008 Naranjeros de Hermosillo (MWL*):  15.1 IP, 2.35 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 14 H, 8 BB, 11 SO

2009 Myrtle Peach Pelicans (High-A):  72.2 IP, 4.33 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 82 H, 14 BB, 56 SO

2009 Mississippi Braves (Double-A):  77.1 IP, 3.72 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 74 H, 21 BB, 49 SO

2009 Venados de Mazatlan (MWL):  19.1 IP, 1.40 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 17 H, 6 BB, 14 SO

*MWL = Mexican Winter League

Osuna’s minor league numbers are solid, but don’t jump off the page.  That isn’t a necessarily a negative as minor league numbers don’t predict potential success or failure in the major leagues.  You don’t have to look any further than fellow Mexican, and fellow Rule 5 pick Joakim Soria to see that.  There was nothing in Soria’s minor league numbers to suggest anything remotely close to the dominant pitcher we’ve watched in Kansas City the last three seasons.  Joakim was good in the minors, but he had to spend most of his developmental time pitching in the Mexican League instead of in affiliated baseball.

They may not jump off the page, but there are still plenty of positives to take away from Osuna’s numbers.  He has managed to maintain a solid SO/BB ratio, in excess of 2 to 1, as he has advanced in the Braves system.  He has never really struggled, in terms of end of season numbers, at any of this stops.  Finally, he survived the jump from High-A to Double-A, which is regarded as the toughest jump to make in the minors.

It seems next to impossible that the Royals can catch lightning in a bottle a second time by selecting a young Mexican born pitcher in the Rule 5 draft.  However, Edgar Osuna has several things working in his favor to ensure that we get to find out what this young man can do out at Kauffman Stadium.  He’s left handed, he can pitch, and he’s not named John Bale or Horacio Ramirez.  The team will most likely have to “hide” him in the bullpen this season, but Osuna has shown the ability to be effective both in the pen and in the rotation.

I’m sure others will throw stones at Dayton Moore because Edgar Osuna comes to the Royals from the Braves, but I really don’t care about that.  If he can help this organization improve I’m all for his addition and right now, I’m happy that he’s a member of the Kansas City Royals.

In closing, for those of you wondering, Chris “Disco” Hayes was not selected and will remain a part of the Royals organization.

(Wally Fish is Kings of Kauffman’s lead blogger.  Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Edgar Osuna Kansas City Royals KC MLB Royals

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