When the Cincinnati Reds handed out their largest signing bonus on the international market in 2015 it went to then 16-year-old outfielder Cristian Olivo. It was, at the time, the largest signing bonus to a teenager on the international market the organization had given out since 2008 when they signed Yorman Rodriguez and Juan Duran.

His professional debut came in 2016 and things probably couldn’t have gone much worse. Early in the year Cristian Olivo suffered a shoulder injury and while he did come back and play through it, it led to all kinds of struggles at the plate and he hit just .101/.149/.180 on the season in 27 games with 47 strikeouts in 94 plate appearances. For those of you good at math, that was literally a strikeout every other time he came to the plate.

A much more healthy version of Cristian Olivo has been on the field this year. He did get out to a slow start with the Dominican Summer League Reds in 2017. Over the last five weeks, however, he’s turned things around quite a bit. He’s had 83 plate appearances (just over half of his season total) and has hit .289/.322/.422. The outfielder has been even better over the last couple of weeks, hitting .315/.362/.500 in that span, cutting down on his strikeouts and showing a big step forward in power.

From the start of the season through July 20th he struck out 31% of the time he stepped to the plate. In the 64 plate appearances since then he’s struck out just 11 times – an 18% strikeout rate. We are dealing with a small sample size, of course, but it’s been a good sign to see over the last few weeks from the 18-year-old. For very young players sometimes a change can come about very quickly. Maybe this is just a blip on the radar, but it’s a blip on the radar we’ve never seen before from Cristian Olivo, too.

5 Responses

  1. DaveCT

    Olivo and Miguel Hernandez both making improvements is encouraging.

  2. Chris B

    Off subject here but do we know if Cozart cleared waivers?