WEDNESDAY, JUNE 05, 2002
Chad Oliva Selected by Phillies in 18th Round of Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft
June 5, 2002
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University outfielder Chad Oliva (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) was selected in the 18th round by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2002 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Tuesday. In last year's draft, Oliva was selected in the 21st round by the Texas Rangers, but he did not sign with the club and chose to return for his final year at JU.
"I went into the draft with an open mind (about where I would be drafted) and I knew wherever I went, that was where I was supposed to go," Oliva said. "The Phillies are a good organization and I'm excited to get started with them and I'm happy to be playing professional baseball and living out my dreams."
Oliva had a strong finish to his senior campaign, during which he hit .325 with nine home runs, 10 doubles, three triples, 44 RBI and eight stolen bases. Oliva left his mark as JU's all-time home run leader (43), RBI leader (231) and walks leader (144), ranks second in hits (274), doubles (54) and total bases (475) and ranks third in runs (196).
Oliva moved to leftfield for his senior season to better utilize his speed and arm, after earning back-to-back first-team all-conference selections at catcher. The scouting report from MLB.com describes him as: "Medium, strong, solid build, similar to Chad Curtis. Strong arm. Drives ball. Selective at plate. Makes contact with some long ball power. Dedicated player."
Oliva was tabbed a Louisville Slugger and NCBWA Preseason All-American and Preseason Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year after an outstanding junior season, during which he hit .333 with a league-leading 19 home runs and 68 RBI, while earning first-team Atlantic Sun All-Conference honors for the second straight year.
Oliva helped lead JU to the 1999 Atlantic Sun Championship, hitting eight home runs and collecting 53 RBI as a freshman. He also led the Dolphins to a pair of NCAA Regional appearances in 1999 and 2001.