Edward Olivares has been within the Kansas Metropolis Royals group for over two years now, and the group has but to determine precisely what to do with him. Acquired in a 2020 deadline take care of San Diego, he performed in 18 video games down the stretch for Kansas Metropolis and was alternative stage with an 86 wRC+. In 2021, Olivares turned very properly acquainted with I-29. After he was referred to as as much as the majors for the primary time within the season on Could 30, he was optioned again to Omaha eight completely different instances. Regardless of torching AAA to the tune of a 155 wRC+, he couldn’t set up any type of rhythm in 39 scattered big-league video games and produced yet one more 86 wRC+.
Getting into the 2022 season, it was unclear precisely what function Olivares would play for the Royals; Andrew Benintendi, Michael A. Taylor, Kyle Isbel, and Hunter Dozier all figured to be forward of Olivares on the outfield depth chart. He started the season on the bench, getting semi-regular motion as a pinch-runner and pinch-hitter and drawing occasional begins within the nook outfield. He performed properly in restricted motion and was on a seven-game hit streak when he was positioned on the Injured Record on Could 9 with a quadriceps harm.
Olivares returned to motion on June 24 and picked up proper the place he left off, crushing two dwelling runs that night time in a win over Oakland. He was a reasonably common starter in each outfield corners by way of the All-Star break and continued posting strong numbers. Sadly, on July 22, he headed again to the IL with an harm to his different quad. This one was extra extreme, retaining Olivares out of motion till September 17. He was a mainstay within the lineup the remainder of the way in which, splitting time between the outfield and DH.
Between accidents, Olivares managed to play 53 video games and posted his greatest numbers but within the majors. He slashed .286/.333/.410, good for a 110 wRC+.
Olivares hit higher than ever within the majors this 12 months and there are some constructive indicators beneath the hood. He posted a .339 xwOBA fueled by a career-high 38.9% hard-hit price, the identical hard-hit price as MVP finalist Nolan Arenado. He additionally flashed a career-high max exit velo of 111.3 mph, suggesting solidly above-average uncooked energy. The instruments are apparent with Olivares as he additionally positioned within the 83rd percentile in dash pace and 82nd in arm energy.
Most of Olivares’s offensive enchancment got here from a career-high .286 batting common. Whereas this can be BABIP-fueled, there have been notable adjustments to his batted ball profile. Along with the elevated hard-hit price, Olivares hit line drives at a career-high price and likewise hit the ball up the center extra typically than final 12 months.
Olivares will most likely by no means be a high-OBP man attributable to his aggressive strategy on the plate, however he makes sufficient contact to keep up a manageable strikeout price.
Only for enjoyable, let’s additionally take a look at the 4 dwelling runs Olivares hit in 2022. Their similarity makes for a goofy-looking spray chart.
Whereas Olivares acquired restricted taking part in time in 2021 as a result of baffling method during which the group dealt with him, it was accidents that held him again in 2022. It’s regarding to see a man maintain two separate decrease physique accidents in a single season, however thus far this isn’t a part of an even bigger development. The one different IL stint I see on his transactions web page is all the way in which again in 2016, when Olivares was nonetheless in rookie ball.
I discussed earlier Olivares’s bodily instruments. Sadly, regardless of the great instruments, he hasn’t actually been capable of translate these to on-field success. He hits too many groundballs to persistently entry his uncooked energy, his vary and arm are offset by his questionable instincts within the outfield, and he has been a really ineffective base-stealer with a profession 36.4% success price.
There usually are not many definitive conclusions that one can draw from Olivares’s 2022 season. Given the small pattern dimension, the one stats that actually had an opportunity to stabilize had been a number of of the plate self-discipline and batted ball metrics. We are able to say with some extent of confidence that Olivares will probably by no means stroll a lot however will put the ball in play extra typically than league common. We all know that he has above-average uncooked energy that’s handicapped by his propensity for hitting the ball on the bottom. What we don’t know is that if the improved line drive price that probably led to his inflated BABIP is legit or a small pattern dimension fluke. If these features had been actual, his offensive flooring is probably going excessive sufficient that he might not less than be a reliable fourth outfielder. If it seems to be unsustainable, we’re most likely wanting on the replacement-level participant we noticed in 2020 and 2021.
In abstract, it’s troublesome to grade Edward Olivares. He didn’t get constant taking part in time in 2021 attributable to odd dealing with and in 2022 attributable to accidents. After components of three seasons within the group, we nonetheless don’t actually know what he might do with common taking part in time over prolonged stretches. I believed after 2021 that the group merely didn’t imagine in him, and he wouldn’t ever get a good shot. 2023 is shaping as much as be one other non-competitive season for the Royals. Olivares has proven sufficient to earn a shot subsequent season. That mentioned, the taking part in time equation will get difficult when Taylor, Isbel, Dozier, Nate Eaton, and MJ Melendez all determine to issue into the outfield image as properly. Edward Olivares might be 27 subsequent 12 months; 2023 must be the season that the Royals determine if he might be a part of a aggressive group in Kansas Metropolis.