Thoughts: Miguel Olivo 2012


Okay, so let’s get back to talking about Miguel Olivo there are some reasons of course upon which Olivo could be a considered desirable target to an outside team. Despite his problems with passed balls and his poor approach at the plate his abilities to gun down runners as well as hit home runs could be considered of value to another organization that that doesn’t play in a park with such extreme prejudices against right handed hitters.

That said, it’s highly unlikely in my eyes at least that the Mariners would trade Olivo this off-season and even less likely that the Mariners move him at the trade deadline. The reason for this is that for all of his poor statistics the ones that “matter” to the Elias rankings are that of which he produces.

While we don’t know what the future holds for compensation of free-agents based upon the current state of program and using the rankings we see that Olivo would most likely qualify for type-B compensation (post 1st round sandwhich pick). Again, we hardly know what’s going to happen a year from now when it comes to the draft.

We do know that both sides are growing closer to an agreement and that some outlets believe that by the end of the week that an agreement could be reached. We also know that the MLB Draft is the last big item left on the list and while Bud Selig is oft to speak of the “need” of a draft salary cap, we don’t know the details of what else he would like changed within the system.

I’m not saying that a draft salary cap is good, I think it’s stupid, and I’m not saying that the compensation program shouldn’t be reconsidered and reevaluated, I think it does. But until a final agreement is reached we can’t know how next year free-agency could be affected. Thus keeping Olivo, at least in the short term, could still bear dividends to the organization down the road as it is doubtful if not entirely unlikely that another team would be willing to sacrifice a true prospect in return for Olivo.

So as a few commenters mentioned before we must deal with the thought that the Mariners are going to in fact give Olivo approximately 200-300 plate appearances this season. Though we wasn’t all that good at the plate last season I believe much like going into last season, if he were properly platooned that the Mariners could still get some positive production out of Olivo.

Though last year it was an pretty even split (wRC+ 70 vs. LHP, 73 vs. RHP) Olivo for his career has always shown the propensity for hitting much better against left handed pitchers than against right handed ones (Career wRC+ 68 vs. RHP, 102 vs. LHP) and his ISO is .043 points higher against lefties.

Olivo isn’t an especially “good” hitter. But I think the Mariners internet community as a whole wrote this last year and it remains true now, if the Mariners expect to see surplus value out of Miguel Olivo it’s going to be by setting him up for success. And it’s not saying that there aren’t some right-handed pitchers that I’m not alright with Olivo starting against. There are some because of their tendencies that could potential set Olivo up for success.

But, if Adam Moore goes down again this year with another injury the Mariners already need to have a system in place to make sure that Olivo isn’t catching 5 games out of the week like what happened last year. That just isn’t going to help this team win.