TORONTO- Entering the 2015 season, the Toronto Blue Jays’ bullpen was a huge concern, especially at the closer role. Then came Roberto Osuna, a 20-year old righthanded reliever who is having an impressive rookie season in franchise history. Osuna has been dominating opposing hitters all season long and has been the most consistent reliever out of the bullpen.
According to Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, Osuna is considered to be the “most valuable rookie in the American League.”
After an impressive spring training performance, Osuna became the youngest player to made the big leagues for the Blue Jays.
But making it to the big league roster wasn’t easy for young pitching phenom, who overcame many obstacles throughout his life. Osuna signed with the Blue Jays as an international amateur free agent in 2011 as a starter. Osuna was consider as one of the top prospect in the Blue Jays’ farm system entering the 2013 season. However, he suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament and underwent Tommy John Surgery on May 9, 2013. After spending a year recovering, Osuna made his return on July 8, 2014 for High-A Dunedin Blue Jays and played the Arizona Fall League.
Since the start of this season, Osuna has been the most consistent reliever for the Blue Jays. On June 22, he took over the 9th inning role after fellow teammates Miguel Castro and Brett Cecil failed to close out games.
This season, Osuna pitched in 56.2 innings with a 1.91 ERA and 63 strikeouts during his rookie season for the Blue Jays. He saved 15 out of 16 save opportunities. Since taking over as a closer, he posted a 1.46 ERA with 28 strikeouts.
It is rare that a reliever would make the case for Rookie of the Year. Neftali Feliz was the last reliever in to win the award in 2010 as a member of the Texas Rangers. But Osuna has an intriguing case. Although Minnesota Twins’ Miguel Sano and Houston Astros’ Carlos Correra may be the frontrunners for AL Rookie of the Year, Osuna has been the most valuable player for the Blue Jays’ bullpen.
Osuna may be a darkhorse for the AL Rookie of the Year, but he shown more than just talent. He demonstrated a great skill of perseverance, discipline and passion. It’s so rare to see a 20-year old to make an early impression in the big leagues, especially when he never pitch a single game in Double-A or Triple-A.
Osuna influence everybody that anyone can overcome obstacle in life and must fight a good battle to achieve their goals. Osuna has done that by fulfilling his dream to become a professional baseball player.