Olmstead Offers Another Strong Young Arm

Drafted in the 9th round of the 2007 MLB Draft, the Kingsport starter has found quick success during his young tenure in professional ball. After signing with the Mets, he was assigned to the Gulf Coast League, but was immediately added to his current squad. Inside Pitch revisited with Olmstead to find how he has performed so far.

"It's been a blast so far. I've been pitching well. I pitched well during the two weeks I spent in Florida [with the GCL Mets], now I'm in Kingsport and it's been more of the same for me. Everything has just been really fun," he said.

With an easy going mentality and a towering, 6-foot-6, 245 pound presence on the mound, Michael Olmstead has started his career on the right foot. He had a brief stay in Florida in the GCL where he worked to get his arm back to game health since his departure from Cypress College.

"The reason I was coming out of the bullpen in the GCL was to get my arm in shape. I was following the starter's workout plan and routine the entire time, the conditioning, lifting, all that," he explained.

He made two quick appearances in the GCL, tossing three innings. He was nicked for one hit but overpowered the young hitters, striking out eight. He made short work of the inexperienced hitters by simply throwing fastballs, one after another until they swung themselves out.

"To me, it seemed like more high school guys down there. Most of them were real late on my fastball and it seemed like they were lacking a lot of experience down there. I was able to control at-bats pretty easily," he said.

In his first outing, he promptly struck out the side with nothing but heaters as the opposition simply could not catch up to Olmstead.

"It was just all fastballs," he said. "A couple of guys I just pumped in three fastballs and got outs. I don't want to say it was easy, but it definitely wasn't that challenging."

After regaining the strength in his shoulder, it was off to Kingsport where he slid back into his natural role as a starter. Since his arrival in the Appalachian League, the 20-year-old right-hander has barely skipped a beat. In three starts with the K-Mets, Olmstead has averaged four innings per start, surrendering only a total of two runs on ten hits with seven strikeouts. His 1.50 earned run average and .233 opponents' batting average show that this league's hitters have not found much success either.

"I don't see too much different from (Appalachian League) hitters to college. There is a noticeable difference between the GCL and here, but I don't see much difference between here and college.

For Olmstead, it is all about setting up his pitches off his fastball which he has been able to accelerate to the low-90's, up from the high-80's he threw in college. Following his fastball is his big, hooking curveball, a steady slider and a developing changeup. Although he has confidence in his curveball, for him, it is all about attacking guys with the ole number one.

"The way I've challenged hitters has been great for me," he said. "When I came up here, my curve was outstanding. But, I've been going after guys with my best pitch, my fastball, and making them show me that they can hit it. Once they show me they can hit my fastball, I'll mix in some more off-speed stuff."

Like all pitchers in this farm system, the growth of his changeup will play and intricate roll in his development and future standing. That pitch is seemingly the only speed bump Olmstead has hit in an otherwise hot start. One flaw he encounters is an inconsistent arm slot which can weaken his breaking balls and make his changeup float rather than drop.

"My arm slot has changed a couple of times, so the coaches want me to focus on that," he said. "But other than that, I don't think the coaches have really found too many parts of my game that need adjustments. Once I get my arm slot to be consistent, my pitches should all be there as well."

It will certainly be interesting to follow how he develops when his repertoire does come full circle. He is off to such a tremendous start, but recognizes that adversity will soon find his way and that the time will come when he must work out of tight situations which he has yet to face.

"It's hard to tell what will happen. Each league has different talents and it's hard to tell how guys will react to my pitches or adjust to my pitches," he said. "These guys were drafted and put at this level, so they obviously have some game. So when those tough spots come, all I can do is make sure my pitches are there."

Olmstead is yet another member of this year's draft to get off to a strong start. He joins Brooklyn's Dylan Owen, Will Morgan, Dan McDonald, Dillon Gee and Michael Antonini (who started his year in Kingsport), and others as young arms who have already made a splash this season, but he will not relish too long in his early achievements.

"I've got off to a real good start," he said. "I'm just trying to concentrate on throwing strikes in every bat and get guys out. I need to concentrate on the little things. I'd like my changeup to come a long a little more so I can throw it for strikes more often. Throw strikes, get guys out, get my changeup to come along, that's what I want to do."


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"It's been a blast so far. I've been pitching well. I pitched well during the two weeks I spent in Florida [with the GCL Mets], now I'm in Kingsport and it's been more of the same for me. Everything has just been really fun,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nWith an easy going mentality and a towering, 6-foot-6, 245 pound presence on the mound, Michael Olmstead has started his career on the right foot. He had a brief stay in Florida in the GCL where he worked to get his arm back to game health since his departure from Cypress College.
\r\n
\r\n\"The reason I was coming out of the bullpen in the GCL was to get my arm in shape. I was following the starter's workout plan and routine the entire time, the conditioning, lifting, all that,\" he explained.
\r\n
\r\nHe made two quick appearances in the GCL, tossing three innings. He was nicked for one hit but overpowered the young hitters, striking out eight. He made short work of the inexperienced hitters by simply throwing fastballs, one after another until they swung themselves out.
\r\n
\r\n\"To me, it seemed like more high school guys down there. Most of them were real late on my fastball and it seemed like they were lacking a lot of experience down there. I was able to control at-bats pretty easily,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nIn his first outing, he promptly struck out the side with nothing but heaters as the opposition simply could not catch up to Olmstead.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was just all fastballs,\" he said. \"A couple of guys I just pumped in three fastballs and got outs. I don't want to say it was easy, but it definitely wasn't that challenging.\"
\r\n
\r\nAfter regaining the strength in his shoulder, it was off to Kingsport where he slid back into his natural role as a starter. Since his arrival in the Appalachian League, the 20-year-old right-hander has barely skipped a beat. In three starts with the K-Mets, Olmstead has averaged four innings per start, surrendering only a total of two runs on ten hits with seven strikeouts. His 1.50 earned run average and .233 opponents' batting average show that this league's hitters have not found much success either.
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't see too much different from (Appalachian League) hitters to college. There is a noticeable difference between the GCL and here, but I don't see much difference between here and college.
\r\n
\r\nFor Olmstead, it is all about setting up his pitches off his fastball which he has been able to accelerate to the low-90's, up from the high-80's he threw in college. Following his fastball is his big, hooking curveball, a steady slider and a developing changeup. Although he has confidence in his curveball, for him, it is all about attacking guys with the ole number one.
\r\n
\r\n\"The way I've challenged hitters has been great for me,\" he said. \"When I came up here, my curve was outstanding. But, I've been going after guys with my best pitch, my fastball, and making them show me that they can hit it. Once they show me they can hit my fastball, I'll mix in some more off-speed stuff.\"
\r\n
\r\nLike all pitchers in this farm system, the growth of his changeup will play and intricate roll in his development and future standing. That pitch is seemingly the only speed bump Olmstead has hit in an otherwise hot start. One flaw he encounters is an inconsistent arm slot which can weaken his breaking balls and make his changeup float rather than drop.
\r\n
\r\n\"My arm slot has changed a couple of times, so the coaches want me to focus on that,\" he said. \"But other than that, I don't think the coaches have really found too many parts of my game that need adjustments. Once I get my arm slot to be consistent, my pitches should all be there as well.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt will certainly be interesting to follow how he develops when his repertoire does come full circle. He is off to such a tremendous start, but recognizes that adversity will soon find his way and that the time will come when he must work out of tight situations which he has yet to face.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's hard to tell what will happen. Each league has different talents and it's hard to tell how guys will react to my pitches or adjust to my pitches,\" he said. \"These guys were drafted and put at this level, so they obviously have some game. So when those tough spots come, all I can do is make sure my pitches are there.\"
\r\n
\r\nOlmstead is yet another member of this year's draft to get off to a strong start. He joins Brooklyn's Dylan Owen, Will Morgan, Dan McDonald, Dillon Gee and Michael Antonini (who started his year in Kingsport), and others as young arms who have already made a splash this season, but he will not relish too long in his early achievements.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've got off to a real good start,\" he said. \"I'm just trying to concentrate on throwing strikes in every bat and get guys out. I need to concentrate on the little things. I'd like my changeup to come a long a little more so I can throw it for strikes more often. Throw strikes, get guys out, get my changeup to come along, that's what I want to do.\"
\r\n
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