Brian Oliver (minors01)
Brian R. Oliver
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 170 lb.
- School University of California
- High School Antioch High School
Infielder Brian Oliver peaked at AA.
He was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1995 amateur draft but opted to attend the University of California instead. In his first year there, he hit .335 and was named a freshman All-American by Baseball America, and the following spring, he hit .364 while leading the team in runs scored (42), hits (88), doubles (15), triples (3), and stolen bases (24). He was All-Pacific-10 Conference, one of three shortstops picked (Troy Glaus was one of the others). He then was a part of Team USA in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup. He hit only .200/.323/.300 while starting at second base ahead of Brian Roberts and Dave Matranga. He did play error-free defense and stole 3 bases in 3 tries. He tied Jason Tyner and Luis Ulacia for the Cup lead in swipes. In the Bronze Medal Game, he was 1 for 4 with a walk, hit-by-pitch and a steal while hitting second (between Tyner and Pat Burrell) for the US in a 7-6 loss to Australia. Back with Cal the next year, he hit .386 with 10 doubles, 5 homers, and 23 RBI despite missing 20 games due to a hand injury.
Oliver was then selected by the Anaheim Angels in the fourth round of the 1998 amateur draft, one pick after Luke Hudson. He was the first position player taken by the Angels that year. He made his pro debut that summer with the Boise Hawks and hit .259/.365/.352 as a backup shortstop. In 1999, he was a part-time middle infielder and produced at a .274/.351/.417 clip with 12 steals in 13 attempts. He was only 12 for 59 (all singles) with four walks and two swipes for the 2000 Erie SeaWolves.
After three years in the Angels chain, he was taken by the Texas Rangers in the AAA portion of the 2000 Rule V Draft. He played two seasons in their organization. He saw limited action in 2000 for the Charlotte Rangers (5 for 21) and Tulsa Drillers (9 for 40, 2B, 3B, 6 BB). In 2001, he hit .270/.339/.351 with only 3 steals in 7 tries in 97 games, starting at second for Tulsa.
Overall, Oliver produced at a .262/.339/.355 clip in 217 minor league games, with 38 doubles, 116 runs, 69 RBI and 17 steals in 24 tries.