Bats: RightThrows: RightHeight: 6-0Weight: 230Age: 32
2010 salary: $2 million
2010 stats: Batted .269 with 14 home runs and 58 RBI in 112 games with the Colorado Rockies
Like most hitters, Olivo fell in love with Coors field, batting .318 there with 10 of his 14 home runs. Five of those home runs came in tie games. “You can’t throw him a fastball on the inner half of the plate in any count and expect to get away with it,” scout Stan Williams said. “He kills that pitch. He can’t hit a breaking ball, but he lives on mistakes.” Behind the plate, he caught 42 per cent of the would-be base stealers to test him.
Olivo started the season hitting .290 or better in April, May, June and July - then dropped off badly, batting .140 in August and .235 in September. Led the National League with 10 passed balls. Walked 27 times in 427 plate appearances. On the road, he batted . 211.
Summing up Olivo’s 2010
With his sixth team in his ninth big-league season, Olivo remained an aggressive hitter with little patience or plate discipline, but with enough power to tantalize. “He hasn’t changed since he was a Mariner the first time around,” a National League East scout said. “He still swings at everything, and does it early in the count. There are pitches he can handle, but he doesn’t know how to work a count to get them.”
Looking to 2011
“Olivo still has a lot of athletic ability, and he’s a high-energy player,” the NL East scout said. “He’s not the greatest pitch-caller, but he’s got a strong arm and teammates love him. The problem is, he’s a backup catcher - and the Mariners signed him to be their No. 1 catcher.” Can Olivo fill that role? Physically, more than likely . Last year he left an April game to pass a kidney stone - then returned in time to catch the next inning. That’s tough. Still, on a team new manager Eric Wedge wants to have play fundamental baseball, however, Olivo’s impatience at the plate, and his less than stellar defense behind it, could test his patience.