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Profile: Andrew Oliver
photo: Andrew Oliver   
Name: Andrew Oliver
Height/Weight: 6-4 / 205
Date of Birth: 12/3/87
School: Oklahoma State Rank: 3
Andrew Oliver is somewhat of a controversial player in that he was suspended late in the 2008 college baseball season for supposedly having violated NCAA rules about relationships with agents. He has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA and Oklahoma State for his suspension, which somewhat clouds his status for the 2009 season. There are rumors that the agent that caused Oliver to be suspended was Scott Boras, who may have written a letter in defense of Oliver to Oliver's previous advisor(who, based out of New York City sent Oliver a six-figure bill for their previous advisement after Oliver switched advisors), which is violation of NCAA rules. Regardless of the legal issues, Oliver is one of the top pitching prospects available for the 2009 draft, and he was also one of the top prospects available for the 2006 draft coming out of high school from Vermillion, Ohio. He reportedly turned down $400,000 to sign with the Twins after falling to the 17th round of the draft. With perfect, athletic proportions, the size to sustain long innings and a cool, collected approach, Oliver is similar to former big-league pitcher Chuck Finley. His fastball velocity and command support that comparison, as he sits in the 89-93 range, touching 94-95, and maintains that velocity deep into ballgames. He's not afraid to come inside on right-handed hitters, and with his velocity is also able to get away with elevating his fastball as he racks up strikeouts. While he is able climb the ladder, he also has a knack for keeping the ball down in the zone earlier in counts, and his heavy heater can induce some weakly hit ground balls. His secondary stuff needs refinement, although both his breaking ball and changeup show promise. His change is ahead of his slurve at this point in time, which is thrown from the same arm angle and velocity as his fastball. He has a tendency to overthrow his breaking ball, and while it isn't as consistently good as his fastball, he does throw it more frequently deeper into ballgames giving opponents a different look. Oliver also fields his position well, and can hold his own at the plate as a pitcher. His strike-throwing approach led to him being knocked around early in his college baseball career, but he posted much better numbers during his sophomore campaign, and is poised for a huge junior year despite the legal issues that have not yet gone away. He will continue to be advised by Scott Boras.

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