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Chasing The Dream: The Josh Osich Story and Interview

While 2012 will always be listed as his first full season in professional baseball it doesn’t mean that Josh Osich hasn’t had his share of baseball experiences. Before he turned professional the young left hander has already been through more than some professionals in a career.

Josh Osich: Quick Stats

Team: San Francisco  Twitter: @JoshOsich

Height: 6′ 3″, Weight: 235 lb. Born: September 3, 1988 in Boise, Idaho, US

Drafted:  San Francisco Giants in the 6th round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft

Favorite Player: Pedro Martinez

Chasing The Dream: The Josh Osich Story

While 2012 will always be listed as his first full season in professional baseball it doesn’t mean that Josh Osich hasn’t had his share of baseball experiences. Before he turned professional the young left hander has already been through more than some professionals in a career. He has been a shut down reliever, a starter, has had Tommy John surgery and has pitched a no-hitter. In this weeks Chasing The Dream feature we take a look at some of those accomplishments as well as some of the ups and downs Osich has had to endure to even reach this point in his career.

Starring at Bishop Kelly High School in Boise Idaho the southpaw won pitcher of the year honors twice. During his senior season he lead the team with an 8-2 record and racked up 124 strikeouts paving the way for him to start his college career with the Oregon State Beavers.

During his freshman year he saw action both as a starter and out of the bullpen. The lefty struggled in his first year facing tougher competition compiling and 0-2 record 7.56 ERA in 25 innings. Those struggles would only be temporary as once his sophomore season began Osich was lights out as a member of the Beavers bullpen. In 26 1/3 innings Osich held batters to a .170 average and struck out 34. On the year he finished with a 0-0 record and a 2.05 ERA.

In any baseball players career there are always challenges to overcome. With a successful sophomore season in his back pocket, Osich looked to build on that success as a junior. Just the opposite happened as he was dealt some terrible news. Before he could throw a pitch his junior season Osich learned that in order for him to continue playing the game he loved he would need Tommy John surgery. The University red-shirted him and he spent the rest of the season watching and rehabbing. The process of rehabbing after Tommy John is a long one, for some pitchers it lasts well over a year to get back on the diamond. Osich worked hard on building up his arm and repeating his mechanics.

Even though the season was a wash it did not prevent the Los Angeles Angels from drafting him in the seventh round. Although he opted to go back to school, it was impressive that major league club thought highly enough to select him early on in the draft even though he was still rehabbing a career threatening injury.

Osich tossed a no hitter against Trevor Bauer and UCLA in 2011

Recovered and cleared for action Osich was primed and ready to get back into action for Oregon State. The Beavers elected to make Osich a full-time starter when he returned to action. The lefty did not disappoint either, in 16 starts for the Beavers he compiled a 6-4 record and a 3.64 ERA. He was able to get swings and misses  averaging 9.27 strikeouts per 9 innings. In what would become his signature moment of his college career, Osich gained a lot of attention by throwing a no-hitter against future first round pick Trevor Bauer and the UCLA Bruins. Out dueling Bauer on the mound, Osich struck out 13 batters and allowed just one baserunner the entire game.

While scouts were impressed and drooled over his potential there were still worries over his arm and durability as the 2011 draft approached. Due to his injury Osich was a little older than most juniors but some scouts still rated his arm as first round potential. It wasn’t until the 6th round of the draft that the San Francisco Giants selected the lefty out of Oregon State. Seen as a potential draft steal around baseball, Osich signed a deal to begin his professional career with the Giants.

Even though he signed with the Giants in August of 2011, he did not get his first taste of official professional action until 2012. The Giants assigned him to San Jose of the California League and he has put up solid numbers in the hitter friendly league when healthy. In 20 games (2 starts) Osich is 0-2 with a 3.91 ERA while continuing to post solid strike out numbers (9.24/9). He has found himself on the disabled list twice this season including a current stint with a bout of shoulder soreness. As long as he can stay healthy the Giants like his potential to be an explosive reliever out of the bullpen featuring a high 90’s fastball and developing off-speed pitches.

The lefty hopes to return to the mound before the California League season comes to a close. Even if he does not he has already made a good first impression in his rookie campaign and will hope to build off that in 2013.

Seven Questions With Josh Osich

What was it like to be drafted? Where were you when you found out?

Well the first time I was drafted I was at home. The second time I was drafted I was also at home. It was a pretty awesome feeling each time and I was excited to become a Giant.

In College at Oregon State you underwent Tommy John surgery. Looking back what was that experience like and what was the hardest part about the whole recovery process?

The hardest part about Tommy John surgery is not doing anything. Then when you finally start to go through the process of throwing, it’s kinda like teaching yourself to pitch all over again.

Also in College you threw a no-hitter against UCLA and Trevor Bauer. What was that experience like for you?

Throwing a no-hitter is one of the greatest moments of my career so far. It was a great feeling. Everything worked right on that day. You can’t pitch a no-hitter unless you defense is good behind you.

Making the transition from College to the Pros can be hard sometimes. How much easier has it been for you having your college catcher Andrew Susac with you in San Jose?

It really has made the transition a lot easier. I’ve played with or against a lot of the guys here. I played against Ricky (Oropesa) and Danny (Sandbrink) in College. I’ve also played with (Alex) Burg before as well. Knowing all these guys has made it fun and definitely easier than not knowing anybody.

Tell me a bit of a scouting report on yourself. What pitches do you throw and what  are your strengths and weaknesses?

I throw a fastball, change-up, and a curve. The curve is a work in progress. I just started throwing that regularly this year. As far as strengths I have good life on my fastball. I am working on commanding it better and cutting down on my walks. As a whole I’m working on locating all of my pitches better.

You have been used out of the bullpen but have also started a few games. Which do you prefer and is it hard to transition back and forth?

I actually prefer to throw out of the bullpen. I threw there during my first two seasons at Oregon State and didn’t start until my senior years. Going back and forth is tough because you are constantly going in and out of your routines.

The 2012 trade deadline has passed. As a player do you pay close attention to a day like deadline day? 

I don’t pay much attention to things like that. If something happens or might happen I’m sure my agency or somebody will call me. I can only control what I do on the field and if something would ever happen then I will continue there.

A Few For Fun

Favorite baseball player growing up?

Pedro Martinez

Favorite non-baseball athlete growing up?

Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Whats your favorite song right now?

Anything Country but I really like the older stuff from the 80’s and 90’s.

Favorite Place to Play?

I like playing at home! Playing in the Cal league most places are the same. With the weather and the wind it’s never easy for a pitcher.

A special thanks to Josh Osich for taking some time out of his busy regular season schedule to sit down and not only talk a little baseball with us. Once again please give him a follow at @JoshOsich and follow us at @CTD_Sypien as we follow Josh during the season as he works hard to achieve his goals and make progress towards the major leagues.

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1 Comment on Chasing The Dream: The Josh Osich Story and Interview

  1. This is a great story of an athelete who has battled through adversity to make it in professional baseball. Thanks for sharing this otherwise untold story and best of luck to Josh!

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  1. Looking Back On 2012 | Chasing The Dream

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