Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/18/14
ANDY OLIVER LEFT HANDED PITCHER Born: December 3, 1987 Height: 6’3″ Weight: 210 Bats: Left Throws: Left Drafted: 2nd round, 58th overall, 2009 (Tigers) How Acquired: Trade from Tigers (for Ramon Cabrera) College: Oklahoma State University Agent: Scott Boras WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES Oliver ran into controversy before he turned pro.  He was drafted out of high school by the Twins and his agent, Tim Barratta, had discussions with the Twins, but Oliver didn’t sign.  Under NCAA rules, an athlete can have an “adviser,” but that person can’t negotiate with a professional team.  This rule is, of course, universally ignored in baseball.  When Oliver later switched to Scott Boras as his representative, Barratta ratted him out to the NCAA, which suspended Oliver.  (It’s hard to decide which is the slimier hypocrite, Barratta or the NCAA.)  Oliver sued and got reinstated, along with $750,000, through a settlement. Oliver eventually went to the Tigers in the 2009 draft.  He was considered a first round talent but fell to the second round, and signed for a bonus that was more than double the slot amount.  At the time he threw a 92-94 mph fastball that reached the upper 90s, along with a very good curve.  The Tigers rushed him to the majors in June of his first pro season and he’s increasingly struggled with his control since then.  He also no longer throws the curve, instead throwing what Baseball America describes as a subpar slider and an uneven change.  In the majors his fastball has averaged nearly 94 and reached 97.  His inability to locate it, though, has made it hittable.  The Pirates acquired him for catcher Ramon Cabrera. 2010 AA:  6-4-0, 3.61 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 77.1 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 8.1 K/9 AAA:  3-4-0, 3.23 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 53.0 IP, 4.2 BB/9, 8.3 K/9 MLB:  0-4-0, 7.36 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 22.0 IP, 5.3 BB/9, 7.4 K/9 Oliver signed too late to play in 2009, then debuted in AA in 2010.  He pitched very well there, with good walk and K rates, and moved up to AAA after 14 starts.  The Tigers called him up to the majors in late June and he made five starts.  The first went well, but he struggled in the next four, partly due to poor control.  He finished up in AAA, where he put up mostly good numbers, but with a high walk rate. 2011 AAA:  8-12-0, 4.71 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 147.0 IP, 4.9 BB/9, 8.8 K/9 MLB:  0-1-0, 6.52 ERA, 1.97 WHIP, 9.2 IP, 7.4 BB/9, 4.7 K/9 The Tigers sent Oliver to AAA for all of the season, other than a two-start callup in late May.  He struggled to throw strikes in the two starts and also had a high walk rate in AAA.  He at least had a good K rate. 2012 AAA:  5-9-0, 4.88 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 118.0 IP, 6.7 BB/9, 8.5 K/9 Oliver spent the season in AAA and had more trouble than ever with his control.  He moved to the bullpen in July and pitched only moderately better, with no improvement in his walk rate. Oliver is an interesting acquisition for the Pirates, but unless I’ve miscalculated his options they’re going to have a tough time getting him to a point where he can pitch effectively in the majors.  His control and secondary pitches are both significant issues, and he also has little experience pitching in relief.  The Pirates may try to have him start, but he doesn’t seem nearly ready for that. STATS Baseball Reference–Majors Baseball Reference–Minors Fangraphs MLB.com MiLB.com CONTRACT INFORMATION 2013: Major league minimum PLAYER INFORMATION Signing Bonus: $1,495,000 MiLB Debut: 2010 MLB Debut: 6/25/2010 MiLB FA Eligible: N/A MLB FA Eligible: 2018 Rule 5 Eligible: N/A Added to 40-Man: 6/25/10 Options Remaining: 0 (USED:  2010, 2011, 2012) MLB Service Time: 0.034 TRANSACTIONS June 6, 2006: Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round, 516th overall pick. June 9, 2009: Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 2nd round, 58th overall pick; signed on August 17. June 25, 2010: Contract purchased by the Detroit Tigers. December 5, 2012: Traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ramon Cabrera.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

John Harbaugh: Bill Belichick is best coach of this century

Brandon Jennings suffers horrific Achilles injury

Van Gundy rips Bulls management about Thibs

Harbaugh lands first commitment at Michigan

NFL warns Seahawks about 'obscene gestures'


Lane Kiffin will remain with Alabama in 2015

Belichick: Patriots followed 'every rule' prepping footballs

Colts LB Andrew Jackson arrested on DUI charge

Sam Shields: Dez Bryant catch should have counted

Klay Thompson sets NBA record with 37 pts in a quarter

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks passes away

WATCH: Urban, OSU students send message to Mark May

The five best Super Bowl matchups ever

WATCH: Mike Riley gets big welcome at Nebraska game

Leonard Fournette's brother commits to LSU

Bledsoe not happy about other QBs trashing Brady

Red Sox P Joe Kelly predicts he will win Cy Young Award

WATCH: Bill Belichick drops 'My Cousin Vinny' reference

USC sends recruit personalized business cards

Coastal Carolina planning to install teal-colored field

The five most significant Super Bowls of all time

WATCH: J.R. Smith, LeBron half-court alley oop

Sesame Street makes "inflate" the word of the day

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jennings suffers horrific injury

Harbaugh lands first commitment

Seahawks GM: I love Lynch's act

Lane Kiffin staying with Alabama

Belichick goes 'My Cousin Vinny'

Belichick: Patriots followed 'every rule'

Could Patriots have used a sauna?

Klay Thompson scores 37 pts in a quarter

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks passes away

Sesame Street makes "inflate" the word of the day

Which NBA player should get next on a signature shoe deal?

NFL's Deflategate statement doesn't say much

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.