Osich was beginning to hit an upswing in his career in 2009 with Oregon State. Used almost solely out of the bullpen, he posted a 2.05 ERA and held opponents to a .170 batting average against.
However, Tommy John Surgery kept him out for the 2010 season.
Osich rebounded in 2011, throwing a no-hitter against UCLA in which he struck out 13 batters. However, elbow soreness caused him to fall in the draft, where the Giants took him in the sixth round (207th overall).
Injury is perhaps the only reason Osich was not a first round pick in 2011.
Heading into the draft, he was projected to be a first round sandwich pick, and ESPN’s Keith Law had him rated as the #49 draft-eligible prospect.
However, his elbow soreness, coupled with his previous Tommy John surgery, caused teams to stay away.
While Osich started during his fifth-year senior season at Oregon State, he spent the majority of his college career as a reliever. That also might be the best route for his professional career to go to help preserve his elbow. Osich sits in the high 90s with his fastball.
At this point in his career, it appears that Osich will continue his path to the big leagues through the bullpen. He began the season in the bullpen for single-A San Jose, and has not yet given up a run in 7 2/3 innings, recording 10 strikeouts with two walks. However, he is currently on the disabled list with an elbow strain -- something that will likely always be a concern for him in his career.
If he can manage to stay healthy, he has the raw ability to have success at the big league level. Osich has a strong fastball-changeup combo, and has a good grasp of the strike zone.
His situation reminds us of Mike Gonzalez, a talented left-handed reliever with elbow trouble. Like Gonzalez, if Osich can stay healthy, he has the ability to have a successful major league career.
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