Wednesday Journal is following former area ballplayers as they try to make it to the pros. Every week the Watch will keep readers updated on their progress.

After three-plus seasons in the minor leagues, Justin Olson (OPRF ’98) was released by the Minnesota Twins at the end of spring training. A 6-foot-3 righthander, Olson put up impressive strikeout numbers throughout his career but never found the consistency or role he needed to make the majors.

Debuting in 2003 as a successful closer who went 10-7 with a 2.73 ERA and 14 saves over a little more than a season in Single A, Olson morphed into a starter/long reliever with Double A New Britain in 2005-06. He went 16-15, 4.93 in 63 appearances (24 starts) with the Rock Cats.

Olson threw in the mid-90s and had what his Double A pitching coach described as a “Major League fastball,” averaging 1.05 strikeouts per inning over his career, but he struggled with walks and had a high WHIP of 1.40. He went 26-22, with an ERA of 4.16 in 128 appearances spanning 302 2/3 innings.

Note: Coverage of college players will resume next week.

Daniel Heim

Join the discussion on social media!