The 2017 MLB Draft is into its second day. The Pittsburgh Pirates have made two picks so far today. With that, they have made their fifth round selection.
With their fifth pick on day two, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected outfielder Jared Oliva at pick number 208. He is the third outfielder that they have drafted, the other two being high school kids at picks number 50 and 72. He is their second college bat, the first being Dylan Busby, a third baseman from Florida State.
Jared Oliva is a redshirt Junior from Arizona, and he stands at 6’2″ and 194 pounds. He is only 20 years old, not turning 21 until November 27. He can grow into his frame, but probably not too much. MLB Pipeline gives his run tool a 60, which will add speed to the system. Adding more to his frame could cause his speed to slow. At Arizona this past spring he swiped 10 bases in 59 games, and he was caught three times. Here is scouting report from MLB Pipeline:
"“Oliva has always been athletic, with speed that can work on both sides of the ball. The biggest difference in 2017 has been his ability to square balls up more consistently. Most of it has resulted in doubles power, but there is raw pop the right-handed-hitting outfielder has yet to tap into during games. His swing can get grooved at times, leading to some swing and miss. He has been inconsistent at times in the outfield, showing good reads and routes on one day, struggling another, with some scouts wishing he had better instincts.”"
Oliva sounds rather, especially given he is a college bat. Being he is only 20, the Pirates will have more time to develop him compared to other college players. MLB Pipeline gave him a comparable to Drew Stubbs. Finding a potential useful bat in the seventh round is always good, even if he provides a young and cheap fourth outfield option.
Oliva will have to cut down on his swing and misses, and get better in the outfield to have a chance to impact the Pirates in the future. But he has speed, and the Pirates will be able to develop him into something. MLB Pipeline ranks Oliva at number 138 on their prospect page, and Baseball America ranks him at number 140. Slot value for the pick is $200,000.