The Puro Beisbol website is reporting the Mexico City Diablos Rojos has sold the rights to 16-year-old right-handed pitcher Roberto Osuna to the Toronto Blue Jays for US$1.5 million.
Osuna, an Hermosillo native and the nephew of former MLB pitcher Antonio Osuna, pitched 13 times for the Diablos last season, going 0-1 with a 5.43 ERA in 13 appearances, including two starts. He’s listed at 6’2” and 230 pounds, and is said to be able to hit the low to mid 90’s with his fastball.
Osuna had caught the eye of a number of major league organizations, but Toronto appeared to have the inside track for some time. Osuna will keep 25 percent of his signing bonus (US$375,000) and the rest goes to the Diablos, as is customary in Mexico. He was added to Guasave’s Mexican Pacific League roster last summer.
The sale of Osuna marks the second-highest payment for a Mexican prospect. The Pittsburgh Pirates purchased the rights to another 16-year-old hurler, Luis Heredia of Mazatlan, from the Veracruz Aguilas last year for US$3 million, with the Aguilas keeping US$2.25 million of that.
Prior to Heredia’s signing, the most paid for a young Mexican player was the US$1 million spent by the Kansas City Royals for righty Luis Cota. Unlike Osuna or Heredia, Cota signed directly with KC as a tenth-round draft pick in 2003 and spent five years in the Royals organization, going 15-26 with a 5.36 ERA in 82 starts and never climbing higher than High Desert in the Class A California League. Now 26, Cota spent time the past year working as a prison guard in Arizona.