by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired outfielder Edward Olivares from the Kansas City Royals for minor league infielder Deivis Nadal.
Olivares was originally signed by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014 as an international free agent. Between 2014-2017, Olivares toiled in rookie and A ball before being traded to San Diego before the start of the 2018 season. The youngster had a big AA debut in 2019 for Amarillo, hitting .283 with 18 home runs and 77 RBI, while picking up 35 stolen bases.
With no minor league season in 2020 due to Covid-19, Olivares made his major league debut in July of 2020 for the San Diego Padres. After playing in 13 games, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals during the season and finished the season with a combined batting average of .240 with 3 homers and 10 RBI.
Olivares split time with the Royals and their AAA team in Omaha between 2021-2022. He hit .286 in 2022 with 4 home runs in 53 games for Kansas City.
Last season, Olivares became a starter in the Royals outfield and played in 107 games for K.C. He put up quality numbers in his first extended playing time in the majors, hitting .263 with 12 bombs and 36 RBI. He saw playing time at all 3 outfield positions along with DH.
The 27-year-old is 6’2” 190 lbs. and is considered toolsy enough to do a little bit of everything on the field. He is fast enough to be able to cover ground in centerfield and has an above average arm to make throws from the corner outfield positions. He has a short, compact swing that is capable of hitting the long ball from time to time. He has speed on the base paths and is capable of 10-20 steals a season.
On the downside, he has trouble recognizing pitches and even though he is not a high strikeout hitter, he gets himself into bad counts, which takes away from his power. He has lacked consistency at the major league level but giving him a chance to be an every day player could help in that regard.
The Bucs may find much needed outfield depth in a player with Olivares’ upside. He can step right in and solidify the defense with the tools to be a big part of the Pirates' lineup in 2024.
Deivis Nadal is a 21-year-old middle infielder who has struggled up to this point with hitting professional pitching. With the Bucs' abundance of infield prospects in the minors, he became expendable.