Pittsburgh Pirates: 2017 Draft Season Recap Jared Oliva
Now that their first professional action is over, we started to take a look at how the Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 draft class fared. So far we have recapped Shane Baz, Steven Jennings, Cal Mitchell, Connor Uselton, Dylan Busby, Jason Delay, Deon Stafford, and Cody Bolton’s seasons.
After drafting pitchers with their first two picks, the Pittsburgh Pirates followed it with two prep outfielders. They once again went back-to-back with a pitcher and outfield pick. In the sixth round, they selected another upside prep pitcher in Cody Bolton. Then, to follow it up, the club went back to the outfield ranks. However, this time they took a college outfielder.
With their seventh round pick, the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted University of Arizona outfielder Jared Oliva. Entering the draft he was ranked as the 138th best prospect in the draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates grabbed him at pick number 208. Oliva has a tall, lanky, athletic build, standing at 6’3″ and 194 pounds. Most likely, he will be more of a line drive hitter who uses speed rather than a pure power hitter. He is a right-handed hitter and thrower. Also, Olivia projects to be a plus defender, and he should be capable of playing any position in the outfield. He is 21 years old, the age he was this whole season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates sent Oliva to Short-Season Advanced Ball, the West Virginia Black Bears. This is where most college position players report after being drafted. Oliva made at-bats in 56 games this season, and he played in the field in 53 games. The 53 games were spread out between all three outfield positions, the bulk of them were in center with 42 games, but he had six games in left and five games in right.
Furthermore, he recorded 222 at-bats and posted a slash line of .266/.327/.374 (average/on-base/slugging). He had 10 doubles and no home runs. His most impressive trait was the speed he brought on the diamond. In his 56 games, he had 15 stolen bases and seven triples. The biggest concern, like most young hitters, comes in his plate discipline. His strikeout percentage was 23 percent this season, with 57 strikeouts in 56 games.
Next: Free Agent Target: Ian Krol
All in all, Oliva had a pretty solid first professional season. In terms of the Pittsburgh Pirates draft picks, he had some of the most games played. This was because he signed relatively quickly, agreeing to his slot value of $200K. He will likely join the West Virginia Power to start the 2018 season. However, being a college bat, he could quickly move up to High-A if he has success out of the gate.