The Phillies selected right-handed pitcher Chris Oliver from the University of Arkansas with the 112th overall pick in the MLB Draft.
Oliver is big-time prospect but needs seasoning. He has an electric fastball that sits between 94-97 mph in relief and between 92-94 mph in his starts. Standing at 6'4", 185 lbs. Oliver gets good downhill action on his fastball making hit fastball look even more lively. As a starter, his velocity tends to drop into the upper-80s as the game goes.
The 20-year-old throws a slider that is inconsistent between starts but highly effective when it is on that could be his out-pitch if he can develop consistency with it in professional ball. In addition to the slider Oliver also has an average changeup.
One reason for the inconsistencies in Oliver's pitches and command could be due to his limited innings. He only 129 innings in three seasons at Arkansas and 93.1 of them came this past spring. Oliver's arm is a low-mileage arm that has faced SEC talent. There are questions about whether he can be a starter in professional baseball but his fastball gives him the stuff to be successful in a bullpen role if that is where he will be in the future.
Oliver went 9-4 with a 2.51 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 16 starts this season for the Razorbacks. Despite the good numbers and lively fastball, he only struck out 59 batters in 93.1 innings of work while walking 36 batters.
A potential explanation about why a project second-round pick was still available in the fourth round could be in large part due to his arrest on Tuesday for driving while intoxicated in Fayetteville. He has a court date set of July 11th, three days after his 21st birthday.
The bonus allotment for 112th overall is $467,000.
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