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School: Arkansas; Class: Junior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-4; Weight: 180 pounds
Previously Drafted: Baltimore Orioles, 27th round, 2011
Background: A member of Arkansas’ vaunted three-man rotation, Oliver, along with fellow right-handers Jalen Beeks and Trey Killian, have posted sub-3.00 ERAs. Oliver, a former Orioles late-round draft pick coming out of high school, made the transition from little used reliever to full-time starting pitcher this season.
Through his first 13 starts (76.0 IP), the 6-foot-4 right-hander has fanned 49 and walked 27 while surrendering 11 extra-base hits.
Projection: There’s a couple of things working in Oliver’s favor, especially considering his lack of strikeouts in 2014: First, Arkansas’ home ballpark is incredibly hitter-friendly; secondly, he’s tossed just 36.1 innings during his collegiate career prior to the year, so there’s not much wear-and-tear on his arm.
Solid-average control and his well below-average strikeout ability should improve with experience. There’s plenty of projection left given his lean frame. Sort of a mid-rotation sleeper-type.
Ceiling: 2.5- to 3.0-win player
Floor: 0.5- to 1.0-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low
Draft Projection: Second Round
Photo Courtesy of uatrav.com.