In my Week 4 MiLB report, I included a brief writeup on Blue Jays pitching prospect, Roberto Osuna, highlighting his hot start to 2013 season at Low-A Lansing. My blurb from that particular post: “Number five on my Blue Jays top ten from March, Osuna is a rather plump 18-year-old with a front-end arsenal. Through 18 IP at Low-A Lansing, he’s posted a 26/3 K/BB along with an ERA at 2.95 and a WHIP at 0.82. Some folks are concerned about his potentially tubby frame, but the stuff might just be good enough to overcome the weight issue.” Well Osuna was pulled from his most recent start with elbow discomfort. A subsequent visit to Dr. Andrews has revealed a UCL tear, and it’s now all but official that the Jays’ prized prospect will require season-ending Tommy John surgery. The developmental setback is disappointing, but at age 18, Osuna was ahead of the developmental curve already. There’s still reason to remain optimistic about his future outlook, but it looks like it’ll be a full year before we see him pitching in a meaningful game again. And that sucks.
Christian Yelich | OF, Marlins — Didn’t take long for Yelich to find his groove at Double-A Jacksonville. With 10 XBH (3 HR) through his last 46 PA, the 21-year-old is pounding home the fact that he’s just too advanced for Minor League Baseball. The high-impact outfielder should find himself in Miami before July, and perhaps before June if he continues having his way with upper levels pitching.
Archie Bradley | RHP, D’Backs — I’ve been outspoken about my Archie Bradley excitement this year, and with good reason — his Cali League numbers were outstanding and his Double-A debut a week ago was equally impressive. In just his second start with Mobile, however, Bradley suffered a knee injury while running the bases. The 20-year-old was removed after just 2 IP. No word yet as to whether he’ll be ready for his next start.
Tyrell Jenkins | RHP, Cardinals — Most every time Tyrell Jenkins takes the mound, he’s the best athlete on the field. Outside of Taijuan Walker, there aren’t too many pitchers who that can be said for, but Jenkins is definitely one of ’em. The Cardinals are taking their time with the 20-year-old, assigning him to Low-A in 2013, the same level he competed at for all of 2012. It seems, though, he’s starting to get the hang of Midwest League ball. Jenkins tossed a complete game last Sunday, allowing only four baserunners, while whiffing five. There’s huge potential here, and hopefully this most recent outing vaults Jenkins to a breakout year.
Jake Odorizzi | RHP, Rays — Odorizzi has snagged a W in each of his last four starts, one of those outings a 7 frame gem, in which the 23-year-old allowed zero hits. He seems to have a slight edge over Chris Archer in the battle for next in line for big league starts with Tampa.
Brett Wallace | 1B, Astros — Wallace has posted a .999 OPS with 5 homers through 18 games at Triple-A Oklahoma City. A slight improvement over the .157 OPS with zero homers that he posted earlier this season during his time with the big club. Houston might give him another look if the Triple-A mashing continues, but with Jonathan Singleton coming back into the picture before long, there’s little margin for error going forward for Wally.
Martin Perez | LHP, Rangers — The favorite to lock down the #5 spot in the Rangers rotation heading into spring camp, Perez fractured his arm, allowing guys like Justin Grimm and Nick Tepesch work their way into some big league starts. Well, Perez has healed, and he made his first rehab start last Monday. The 22-year-old allowed 1 run on 5 hits, while walking none and whiffing 1 through 4 IP at Double-A Frisco. Expect him to claim a rotation spot with the big club once the Rangers feel he’s physically ready.
Javier Baez | SS, Cubs — The aggressive approach of Javier Baez is no secret, and it’s hampered him at the plate thus far in 2013. In 143 PA at High-A Daytona, Baez has posted a K/BB at 42/5 and his OBP is quite ugly at .280. At the same time, though, Baez’s elite bat speed continues to provide reason for optimism — the 20-year-old has launched 6 homers on the season and his slugging average sits just south of .500.
Alex Wood | LHP, Braves — A second round pick out of the University of Georgia last June, Wood was handed a Double-A assignment to begin 2013 and he’s been terrific there to this point. Through 7 starts with Mississippi, the 22-year-old has posted a 0.47 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP and a K/9 at 10.2. Deceptive arm angle and plus command to go with above average stuff has Wood thoroughly fooling Double-A hitters. There have always been concerns about his unusual mechanics, but early dominance at an upper level is hugely encouraging.
Addison Russell | SS, Athletics — Before his three-hit performance on Friday, Russell was mired in a 0-for-20 slump, during which he K’d 10 times. The hugely touted shortstop is hitting .185/.321/.348 through 24 games in the hitter-friendly California League.
Trevor May | RHP, Twins — Throughout his struggles in 2012, I was hesitant to quit on May — stuff that filthy sometimes take patience before it’s ready to be utilized at the highest level. I was happy for May when the Phillies moved him to Minnesota. The change in scenery and organizational pitching philosophy, I thought, would serve him well. And so far it has. The 23-year-old has allowed only one run over his last two starts, the most recent of which was a 7 inning, 10 K shutout. If he can continue to spot his power heater, his curve and change become infinitely more effective. When all of that is working — as it was on Friday — May looks like a guy who’s ready to help in Minnesota immediately. Arrival this season is certainly within reason.