St. Louis Cardinals: Dark Horse Prospects for 2016
The Cardinals pulled the hometown card in the 38th round, by selecting Olivera. Olivera was selected out of Missouri Baptist University in this past year’s draft. On paper it seemed like a typical late round pick giving a local guy the honor of being drafted by the hometown team.
However, Olivera proved right away that he was not a throw in pick. Olivera was placed in the Gulf Coast League after the draft, and proved he was a step ahead of the players there hitting two homers and three doubles in his first three games there.
Olivera was then promoted to State College and over 42 games there the right-handed hitter hit .347/.397/.521 with 14 extra base-hits (eight doubles, five homers, and one triple), while driving in 24, all in just 156 plate appearances.
Olivera showed good versatility playing both in the outfield and at first base, giving the Cardinals another option at first base down the road. Olivera has displayed that he has some pop in his bat and a good plate presence. As an outfielder Olivera doesn’t have much of a chance to be much more than a bench guy. However, he could become a player for the Cardinals at first base.
However, Olivera is going to have to showcase his stats at a higher level before we can really consider him a “prospect”. If he can perform this well with Peoria in a full season of play, then we may be talking about another steal for the Cardinals. Until then, keep an eye on Olivera this season.
Next: Local Draftee #2