Each Wednesday timberrattlers.com will countdown the top 20 seasons by a Timber Rattler until #1 is revealed on August 29th. This week: #11
Kevin Olore 2001
13-4, 3.32 ERA, 27 games started, 154.2 innings pitched, 134 hits allowed, 57 earned runs allowed, 40 walks, 158 strikeouts
Kevin Olore attended Marist after being named Connecticut High School Player of the Year in 1996. The Mariners drafted Olore in the 20th round of the 1999 draft and signed him shortly after. Assigned to the bullpen in Everett, he compiled a 4.88 ERA in 22 games. Starting the 2000 season with Wisconsin, Olore struggled out of the gate (1-3, 7.20), which earned him a return trip to Everett with better results (1-3, 2.95 ERA). Seattle decided to make a starter out of Olore in 2001, again assigning him to Wisconsin to start the year.
The move to the rotation certainly agreed with Olore, as he went on to win 13 games, tying the team record at the time. His 158 strikeouts were the third most in team history to that point, and his 40 walks were the second least among Rattlers with 112 innings pitched in a season. His win, strikeout, and walk total are still among the top five in the record book. He was among three Wisconsin pitchers selected to play in the Midwest League AllStar Game in Dayton. His one weakness was a penchant for letting up the longball, giving up 14 home runs, the 6th most by a Rattler.
Olore had another successful season in 2002, going 10-3 with a 2.73 ERA in the hitter friendly California League with San Bernardino. But that is where the magic would run out for Kevin. He would have disappointing stints with Inland Empire (5.03 ERA) and San Antonio (5.67) in 2003 before blowing out his arm and missing the entire 2004 season. A comeback attempt in 2005 would prove unsuccessful and lead to his retirement.
Previously on the countdown:
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.