Varsity Extra

Bishop Kelly’s Osich leads Treasure Valley’s pro baseball crop

Bishop Kelly graduate Josh Osich, who has a 94 mph fastball, is a left-handed reliever with San Francisco.
Bishop Kelly graduate Josh Osich, who has a 94 mph fastball, is a left-handed reliever with San Francisco. The Associated Press

Every child who wore a glove dreams of reaching the big leagues one day.

One former Bishop Kelly High ace (Josh Osich) has reached that goal. Borah’s Stephen Fife is working his way back to the bigs. Boise’s James Hoyt is knocking on the door. And a crop of young Treasure Valley natives are navigating their way through the low minors.

Osich, a left-handed reliever with a 94 mph fastball, shot through the Giants’ system after they selected him in the sixth round in 2011 out of Oregon State. He made his major league debut July 3 as part of a three-week stint in the bigs. He returned in August and never left, making the 25-man roster out of spring training this season and serving as one of two lefties out of the bullpen.

After a 2.20 ERA in 35 appearances last season, he’d thrown 4  2/3 scoreless innings to start 2016 before giving up a three-run homer to Colorado’s Nolan Arenado in the eighth inning Wednesday.

What’s the latest on the other eight working toward the Majors? See below.

STEPHEN FIFE

Club: Cubs

Position: RHP

Level: Triple-A

High school: Borah

Fife made 18 major-league appearances and started 16 games with the Dodgers, the last in 2014. He missed all of 2015 with Tommy John surgery and signed a minor-league deal with the Cubs. A possible rib injury forced him to leave in the fifth inning Wednesday with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.

JAMES HOYT

Club: Astros

Position: RHP

Level: Triple-A

High school: Boise

The reliever bounced around the independent leagues before the Braves signed him in 2012. He reached Triple-A, then the Braves traded him to Houston, where he begins his second year at Triple-A Fresno. In 194 innings, he has more strikeouts (254) than combined hits and walks (237) allowed.

ISAAC ANDERSON

Club: Dodgers

Position: RHP

Level: Low-A

High school: Rocky Mtn.

After turning downs offers from the Royals in 2013 and the Reds in 2014, he signed with the Dodgers last summer and zoomed up the ladder, finishing the summer with a 1.90 ERA through three stops and ending in the Low-A Midwest League. He started 2016 back in Low-A Great Lakes.

ANDREW ELY

Club: Cubs

Position: 2B/SS

Level: Low-A

High school: Eagle

Ely starts his third year as a pro, returning to South Bend of the Low-A Midwest League. He struggled at the start of 2015, hitting .196 with South Bend. But he recovered to hit .301 after his demotion to Eugene in the Northwest League, the second highest average for the Emeralds in 2015.

MASON SMITH

Club: Padres

Position: OF

Level: TBD

High school: Rocky Mtn.

A fourth-round pick in 2013, Smith has hit a combined .212 in his first three seasons as a pro. He spent all of 2015 with the Tri-City Dust Devils of the short-season A Northwest League, hitting a career-high .226 with 30 RBIs in 55 games. He’s starting 2016 in extended spring training waiting for an assignment.

JON POPADICS

Club: Rays

Position: 2B/SS

Level: TBD

High school: Centennial

The 23-year-old signed with the Tampa Bay Rays as an undrafted free agent after the draft last summer, spending his first year in the rookie-level Appalachian League, where he hit .159 in 27 games. He started the season in extended spring training and is waiting for an assignment to a short-season club.

CHASE HARRIS

Club: Phillies

Position: OF

Level: Free agent

High school: Centennial

The Phillies released Harris on April 1. He’s signed with an independent club in Lincoln, Neb., but he’s also in talks with several clubs to sign as a free agent after the June draft. The 24-year-old bounced between High-A and Low-A last summer, hitting .265 at High-A before closing the year on the disabled list.

JOE MARTARANO

Club: Cubs

Position: 1B

Level: None

High school: Fruitland

Martarano said he will not play baseball this summer to focus on his career as a middle linebacker at Boise State. The first baseman hit .315 in 14 games last summer in the rookie-level Arizona League before getting called up to Eugene, where he hit .133 in four games before joining the Broncos for fall camp.

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