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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 60: Tyler Osik

The bat? Oh, it plays

If Tyler Osik could stick at catcher, he’d be a Top 20 prospect, easy.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

Tyler Osik

First Baseman
203 pounds
Age: 26
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking 66
2021 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 47
2022 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 89
2022 High Level Birmingham (AA)
Age relative to high level +0.9 years
SSS rank among all first basemen in the system 4
2022 stats 103 games ⚾️ 12 HR ⚾️ 56 RBI ⚾️ .296/.381/.450 ⚾️ ⚾️ 38 BB ⚾️ 96 K ⚾️ 3-of-38 (7.9%) CS as a catcher

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, he 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%).

In recognition of his efforts, the White Sox selected him in the 27th round of 2019’s MLB draft. While Osik did reasonably well that year 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%).

While many athletes simply took the year off thanks due to the pandemic, Osik worked extremely hard to hone his catching skills in 2020. His early results in 2021 were understandably shaky, with seven passed balls in nine games, but he did throw out three of 14 potential base stealers. Catching’s easily the most difficult position to play, but Osik definitely showed enough promise to merit further development.

In the meantime, he also played 23 games of flawless first base prior to season-ending injuries which prematurely derailed his season. Offensively, Osik slashed .189/.298/.278 in 90 at-bats with five doubles, a homer, 12 walks and 24 strikeouts split between Kannapolis and Winston-Salem.

Osik spent most of 2023 in Winston-Salem, before hitching onto the Project Birmingham train and playing the final 14 games of his season with the Barons. Although he has pointedly refuted the notion that he is a bat-first player without a real position, his time in the White Sox system has year to bear that out.

Osik’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Durability 66
RBIs 66
Hitting 65
Power 64
XBH 59
Contact 49
Runs 45
Speed 41
Team Winning Percentage .454

Osik is becoming more and more like Yermín Mercedes every day. The bat seems to be good, though time in Birmingham will hopefully confirm or deny that, but he doesn’t really have a position. He started out as a first baseman and kind of left fielder but is now learning catcher, very slowly, and is otherwise a DH. He’s gone from playing 73 2⁄3 innings of catcher last season to 166 in 2023 — a pretty incredible feat for a guy who never played there professionally. However, he has played the plurality of his games as a DH, just to get his bat into the lineup, and it works for whatever team he is on. The bat has played, mostly as a great BABIP player, though leading up to his promotion there was more pop.

The Sox have too many of these types of players ahead of Osik already, and it is tough to see him leapfrogging any of them, but if the bat truly plays in Double-A maybe he will be a smart Rule-5 pick for another team eventually.

Until the White Sox are forced to commit to Osik, he may continue to be yo-yo’d around a bit as a default killer bat/DH. But if he starts in Birmingham in 2023 and gets legit defensive reps, the big club clearly sees him with a future in the organization.

2023 South Side Sox Top 102 White Sox Prospects

60. Tyler Osik, 1B
61. Haylen Green, LHRP
62. Mark McLaughlin, RHRP
63. Terrell Tatum, LF
64. Shawn Goosenberg, 2B
65. Randel Mondesí, LF
66. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
67. Declan Cronin, RHRP
68. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
69. Colby Smelley, C
70. Ethan Hammerberg, RHRP
71. Lincoln Henzman, RHRP
72. Vince Vannelle, RHRP
73. Brooks Baldwin, 3B-2B
74. James Beard, CF
75. Gabriel Rodríguez, RHSP
76. Ronny Hernandez, C
77. Troy Claunch, C
78. Brooks Gosswein, LHSP
79. Tim Elko, 1B
80. Yoelvín Silven, RHRP
81. Trey Jeans, LHRP
82. Jerry Burke, RHSP
83. Carlos Jiménez, 1B
84. Mason Adams, RHSP
85. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
86. Ernesto Jaquez, RHSP
87. Laz Rivera, 3B
88. Xavier Fernández, C
89. Álvaro Agüero, CF
90. Ben Norman, RF
91. Erick Bello, RHRP
92. Adisyn Coffey, RHRP
93. Arnold Prado, RF
94. Alsander Womack, 2B
95. Johan Domínguez, RHSP
96. Evan Skoug, C
97. Noah Owen, RHSP
98. Javier Mora, 2B
99. Will Kincanon, RHRP
100. Yohemy Nolasco, RHSP
101. Billy Seidl, RHRP
102. José Rodulfo, RHRP