CHARLESTON, SC - One of the most impressive players at the plate and in the field, Pablo Olivares is excelling in all phases of the game and the South Atlantic League has taken notice, naming the RiverDogs outfielder the South Atlantic League Player of the Week on Monday.
Olivares becomes the first position player to garner Player of the Week honors for the RiverDogs after an impressive week in which the 20-year-old Venezuelan hit .450 (9-for-20) with three home runs and 11 RBI over the first three games following the All-Star break.
"When Pablo went down with a hand injury, it hurt our team a little bit. Not only because he wasn't playing, but because he's a team leader and he motivates everybody," said Charleston's manager, Julio Mosquera. "When he plays hard every day like he does, other guys tend to follow and I think since he came back from the injury, he's just stayed hot like he never missed a game…He's taking every at-bat with intention and he's going out and competing and that's what he brings to the table every day. He plays great defense and he runs the bases pretty well and I think when everything goes right, everything seems to fall in place for him and for the whole team."
Olivares' recent tear to start the second-half after a 12-day disabled list stint is no anomaly. The Ciudad Ojeda native has hit .372 (48-for-129) since the beginning of May, leading the South Atlantic League over that span. If the right-handed swinging outfielder had enough at-bats, he would be the league's leading batter, owning a .353 mark with Class A Charleston since mid-April. His three home runs came over the span of two games on Friday and Saturday in Lexington, bringing his career-high total up to six on the season, including four with the RiverDogs.
Aside from his performance at the plate, Olivares has been a plus defender wherever he has played in the outfield, including robbing a potential walk-off hit on Sunday evening in Asheville to force extra innings. The instinctive fielder has even robbed a home run to secure a 3-2 win at The Joe against Delmarva on June 1.