2003 Rookie Catchers
Though the supply of rookies at this position was greater than usual, there's no question about which one stood out. It was clearly Olivo of the White Sox, a defensive gem even if he provides only occasional offensive punch.
Not that there weren't other promising rookie catchers. Cleveland even had a pair in Victor Martinez and Josh Bard, both sound defensively, with Martinez having the greater offensive potential. Among the others were Toronto's Kevin Cash, the Dodgers' David Ross, Arizona's Hammock, and San Diego's Ojeda.
Olivo, 25, a right-handed batter, couldn't quite live up to his 2002 offensive showing at Class AA Birmingham, where he hit .306 in 359 at-bats. Though not a power-hitter, he even provided four playoff homers in leading his team to the Southern League title after hitting only six in the regular season.
While Olivo couldn't quite reach .250 for the White Sox, his considerable defensive skills and handling of pitchers improved steadily as the season progressed. And there was no question of base runners taking liberties with him. A scout said: "Olivo's arm is as strong as any in the big leagues, including Pudge Rodriguez."
There's no doubt here. Olivo is the man behind the plate.
#8 | Olivo Bio & Stats | League Awards