The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Andrew Christiansen
Reporter 

Mariner draft pick has Goldendale connection

 

Photo courtesy Gonzaga Athletics

DREAM JOB: Tyler Olson had an outstanding year with Gonzaga and landed his dream job being drafted by the Seattle Mariners.

Tyler Olson, the Seattle Mariner’s seventh round pick in the Major League Baseball draft, has a Goldendale connection. Olson is the grandson of Daryel and Mary Jo Olson.

Tyler is the son of Jeff and Kathie Olson, from Spokane. His maternal grandparents, Archie and Paulette Reed are also former Goldendale residents. Tyler attended University High School and enrolled at Gonzaga University in 2008. Olson is a four year letterman and fifth year senior who graduated with a degree in sports management.

Olson was one of three pitchers picked from the Bulldog staff, the first being first rounder, Marco Gonzales and the third, Artie Reyes. Olson, a lefty, was 9-4 this year at Gonzaga with a 2.48 ERA. He pitched five complete games and recorded a save. He struck out 91 batters and walked 31 in 101.2 innings.

Olson recorded his first win at Gonzaga as a freshman with a relief appearance against University of Washington in 2009. He was 6-5 with 13 starts in 2011 and had an ERA of 3.97. Last year Olsen was 5-4 with a 2.77 ERA.

Olsen joins the Mariners who have a strong corps of young pitchers in the minor leagues, led by Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker. They focused on hitting in last year’s draft and picked position players in each of their first three picks in this year’s draft. Olsen was the third pitcher taken by the Mariners and 34th left-handed pitcher taken overall in the draft. Scouting reports say the 6-3, 190 pound Olsen is accurate with his fastball and is a curve ball, change-up pitcher. He says he is excited about joining the organization that has shown a willingness to move players up quickly.

Olsen was picked in the 17th round by Oakland in the 2012 draft. He decided to return to Gonzaga, needing a couple of credits to graduate and he felt he could improve his stock in the draft. Not only did he move up 10 rounds, he also was drafted by the team he most wanted to join.

“I’m jacked. It’s awesome playing for my hometown team. I’ve been following the Mariners since I was a little kid,” says Olson.

Although he has been a life-long fan of the Mariners, his first indication that a pro career might be possible was as a senior at University High School. Former Gonzaga player, Mariner scout and current academic coordinator at Eastern Washington University, Jim Fitzgerald paid a home visit to Tyler and gave him some advice on things to work on and suggested he continue with college ball.

Tyler and his parents waited out the draft around their kitchen table, watching things unfold via the internet. He had a slight idea the Mariners would draft him, but other teams were also interested. He got a call from the Mariners during the sixth round, asking what it would take to make him a Mariner. He said he just want to play ball. Things were worked out with his agent in Detroit and Olson became the 207th player picked in the 2013 draft.

Olsen went directly to Everett to play for the AquaSox, whose season started last weekend in his home town, Spokane. He met with his pitching coach just prior to the series and was at practice last week, but did not play in Spokane. Olson and the coach discussed his experience and what he throws. Indications are they will move him into the rotation as soon as possible.

Olson hopes to move up through the system quickly. So far, he is on a roll. His decision to stay another year at Gonzaga played out well as he was voted Pitcher of the Month for April and 2013 Pitcher of the Year for the West Coast Conference. It also got him into the organization he always wanted to be a part of, close to home and hopefully one day starting at Safeco Field for the Seattle Mariners.

 

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