Join Jays From the Couch as we review the highlights and lowlights of Toronto Blue Jays top prospect Edward Olivares’ 2017 season
Yesterday I described the rise of RHP Jordan Romano as finding 20 bucks in your coat you haven’t worn since last winter. Well, Edward Olivares is like taking a 10 out on a date when you are a solid 6.
Edward Olivares is a 2014 International Free-Agent signing. He has an excellent rookie season in 2014. Followed by a poor 2015 and an injury-shortened 2016, albeit with some nice numbers in a small sample size with the Bluefield Blue Jays.
This mixed bag history had his inclusion on the Lansing Lugnuts Opening Day roster a bit of a head-scratcher. Initially, I was included in this group but quickly found out that Olivares impressed during Extended Spring Training. It took about a month for Edward Olivares to adjust to Midwest League pitching but quickly established himself as one of Lansing’s best/productive players.
The 21-yr-old went unranked by MLB Pipeline in the pre-season but currently comes in at 18th on their list after a successful season. The 6-foot-2 wiry, athletic outfielder showed off his mix of power and speed. He came really close to putting up a 20/20 season which I don’t think ever happen before in the Toronto system. Unfortunately, a late-season promotion saw Olivares fall short.
Edward Olivares Career Stats
After a slow start in April, Edward Olivares batted over .270 in May, June, and July. While his stats don’t rank tops in the league, he did lead the Lugnuts in HR, triples, hits, runs scored, runs batted in, and total bases. Nick Sinay beat him out for the team lead in stolen bases with 23.
The Venezuelan started making waves when he hit for the cycle on April 24th in a game against the South Bend Cubs. He went 4-for-5 and finished with 4 RBI. This was the young outfielder’s springboard, as he collected hits in his next 6 games, four of them multi-hit games.
The 21-yr-old started to tap into his power potential in 2017 with a .223 ISO, 33 multi-hit games, and 18 multi-RBI games. He batted .290 with a. 340 OBP and .522 slugging percentage off RHP.
I’m even happy with his 17.7 K%.
Lansing’s outfielder split his time between CF and RF, collecting a total of 14 outfield assists while committing just 7 errors.
Olivares’ best month came in June. He slashed .323/.389/.625 with 5 doubles, 3 triples, 6 home runs, 17 RBI, and 6-for-8 in stolen base attempts.
He earned Player of Week honors for the week of 7/9/2017 and a promotion to the Florida State League Dunedin Blue Jays on August 13th.
Overall, Olivares finished his Lansing career with a .369 wOBA and 130 wRC+ which well above league average production.
There is a lot not like about this young man’s game but he is far from polished.
From Fangraphs.com, we see Olivares is a little pull happy with 44.4 pull%, 28.7 cent%, and 26.9 opp%. These number prompted me to head over to MLBfarm.com to check out his Top 3 hit locations (CF/LF/SS) and Top 3 at-bat outcome (K/GO/Single). These results led me to the following numbers:
- Only 2 of 17 HR were not to LF or LF-CF
- Only 5 of 27 doubles were not LF
The Blue Jays newest outfield prospect will see his number drop as teams start to utilize the shift.
The right-handed batter makes good contact, showing excellent plate coverage; however, his 4.7 BB% has room for improvement. Working 0.27 walks per strikeout will also need to improve as Olivares’ game evolves.
The talented Olivares will start the season in Florida State League. I expect to see Olivares playing alongside Joshua Palacios, J.B. Woodman, and Rodrigo Orozco. MLB Pipeline a 2020 ETA for Edward Olivares to reach the major leagues. I can’t argue that.
With quick hands, a compact swing which generates sneaky power, Olivares is primed for a successful season in Dunedin. The FSL is not a homer-friendly league, so we can expect Eddy to hit fewer home runs. He will need to adjust and use the entire field if his hopes to post similar numbers to his 2017 stats.
We can expect the organization to take it slow with the development of Edward Olivares in 2018. He will need to be added to the 40-man roster after 2018, so don’t be surprised to see him spend the entire season in Dunedin in an effort to hide him.
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