Pirates outfield prospect Jared Oliva was named to the All-Arizona Fall League team Wednesday.
Olivia slashed .312/.413/.473 in 26 games and lead the league in doubles (11) and stolen bases (11). He also finished second in hits (29), walks (14) and runs scored (18). He is currently ranked as the club's 11th best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
Olivia, 23, had a slow start to his 2019 season after making the jump to Double-A Altoona, but caught fire midseason and was named team MVP. That was thanks in large part to work he did with hitting coach Jon Nunnally.
Olivia told DKPittsburghSports' Jarrod Prugar in June: "We’re getting mind and body working together, really committing to my approach at the plate, making sure I’m 100 percent committed to it when I step in the box. Anytime I’m unsure I can step out and reset. That’s been the biggest thing. There have been a couple mechanical things in there, but we’ve put in a lot of work really trying to get a good foundation going in and it’s starting to show.”
Said then-manager Mike Ryan on Oliva, also from Prugar: “When a player’s coming to Double-A for the first time, there’s going to be an adjustment period. Sometimes failures are the best opportunity to learn. That’s what he’s been going through early in the season. He’s starting to learn. He’s starting to pick up things. He’s starting to apply those things in-game. His at-bats keep getting better every day.”
Olivia was one of seven Pirates prospects who appeared in the AFL. Here is how the other six Pirates farmhands fared:
Blake Cederlind, 23, RHP: Pitched eight innings over eight appearances and recorded a 1.13 ERA, striking out nine and walking seven.
O'Neil Cruz, 21, SS: Slashed .190/.306/.214 over 49 plate appearances and struck out 21 times.
Jason Delay, 24, C: Slashed .094/.216/.125 over 37 PAs. He also made three errors, as many as he made all season in Double-A.
Nick Mears, 23, RHP: Made eight scoreless appearances totaling 8.2 IP. He struck out 11 and walked five, allowing only two hits and finishing with a 0.808 WHIP.
Cody Ponce, 25, RHP: Made five starts and finished with a 2.35 ERA over 23 IP. Struck out 27 and allowed three walks. Ponce was acquired in the Jordan Lyles trade and this was his last chance to audition for a 40-man roster spot this winter.
Beau Sulser, 25, RHP: Finished with a 3.14 ERA, but allowed three additional unearned runs in 14.1 IP. Had control problems, walking nine and hitting two. Struck out 13.
All Pirates prospects played for the Peoria Javelinas along with prospects from the Red Sox, Astros, Padres, and Mariners, and were managed by Dave Turgeon, the Pirates' current coordinator of instruction.
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