Donning the tools? Smart: Tyler Osik’s bat got him fast-tracking in his first pro season. Now, as a catcher, he could move even faster through the system. (Phrake Photography/South Side Hit Pen)
SSHP rank among all first basemen in the system: 4
Tyler Osik, son of former Pittsburgh Pirate Keith Osik, took a circuitous route through college. After spending his freshman year with Division II Coker College, Osik spent his sophomore campaign with Chipola Junior College (Fla.). He then transferred to the University of Central Florida for his junior and senior years. Of his two seasons with the Knights, Osik enjoyed a better year during his senior campaign in 2019 as he slashed .325/.410/.542 in 52 games with 14 doubles, 10 homers, 39 RBIs, nine stolen bases, 26 walks (11.1%) and 50 strikeouts (21.3%). As a culmination of his efforts, the White Sox selected him in the 27th round of the 2019 draft.
While Osik did reasonably well with the AZL White Sox to start his professional career (.271/.346/.373 with 10 doubles in 31 games), he began hitting for power upon his promotion to Kannapolis on August 3. In 26 games totaling 97 at-bats for the Intimidators, he slashed .278/.352/.557 with 10 doubles, a triple, five homers, 19 RBIs, 10 walks (9.3%) and 30 strikeouts (27.8%).
Osik likely will return to Kannapolis to begin the 2020 season, but it’s easy to envision an early promotion to Winston-Salem if he gets off to a great start. He’s also trained all winter for a move to catcher, where defensive success paired with a potent bat could spell a fast climb. (Further reading: Dan Victor’s great Under the Radar piece on Osik.)