Name: Adam Oller
Weight: 170 lbs.
Acquired: Rule 5 Draft, Minor League Phase (San Francisco Giants)
Adam Oller had a natural playmate in his older brother, Josh, and when Josh began playing baseball, Adam followed suit and the Oller brothers quickly began dominating wherever they played. The two pitched together at Concordia Lutheran High School in Tomball, Texas, where Josh lettered three times and Adam four, and helped lead the team to their first playoff appearance in more than a decade in 2012, when Josh was a senior and Adam a sophomore. An All-District and All-State player thanks to his ability at the plate and on the mound, when Adam graduated from Concordia Lutheran, he attended Northwestern State University, where his brother was transferring to from Angelina College, and their sibling rivalry resumed.
Adam Oller began his Demons career as a reliver, with head coach Lane Burroughs originally intending on using him as the team’s closer thanks to his calm demeanor on the mound, but after three appearances, he changed his mind and began using him as a starter in order to maximize his excellent stuff. In his three years at Northwestern, Oller emerged as one of the Demons’ best pitchers, quickly becoming their Friday night starter, a role constantly threatened by his brother, who was Northwestern’s Saturday night starter. In total, he posted a cumulative 2.06 ERA in 310.1 innings, allowing 248 hits, walking 75, and striking out 188. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 20th round of the 2016 MLB Draft after posting a 1.23 ERA in his junior year and signed with, agreeing to a $70,000 signing bonus.
He spent the remainder of the 2016 season with the Bristol Pirates, their Rookie-level affiliate in the Appalachian League and was promoted to the West Virginia Black Bears in 2017, Pittsburgh’s Short-A affiliate in the New York-Penn League. Oller pitched well in 2017, but his performance took a major step back in 2018, when he split the season with the Black Bears and the Bradenton Marauders, the Pirates’ High-A affiliate in the Florida State League and was eventually given his release at the conclusion of the season, a season that saw him post a combined 6.29 ERA in 73.0 innings. After assessing where he was in his life and whether or not continuing to play baseball was something that he wanted to continue doing, he was convinced by friends and family to give the game one more shot and signed with the Windy City Thunderbolts, a team in the Frontier League. He made 4 starts there, pitching 27.0 innings total, and was impressive, allowing two earned runs while giving up 15 hits, walking 2, and striking out 45. Professional scouts and evaluators took notice, and the San Francisco Giants ended up signing him, assigning him to the Augusta GreenJackets, their Low-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. He finished out 2019 posting a 4.02 ERA in 87.1 innings there, allowing 94 hits, walking 26, and striking out 93.
At the 2019 winter meetings, the Mets selected the right-hander in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. His organizational debut was delayed because of the cancellation of the season due to COVID-19, but in May 2021 he began his Mets career with the Rumble Ponies. His first two months with the team were pedestrian at best, but the right-hander heated up at the end of July, earning himself a promotion to Syracuse. He finished the season hot, posting a 3.45 ERA in 120.0 cumulative innings between Double-A and Triple-A having allowed 93 hits, having walked 47, and having struck out 138, and was one of the top performers in the entire Mets minor league system in 2021.
Oller throws from a low-three-quarters arm slot with a long action through the back. His fastball sat in the low-90s prior to being released by the Pirates, but since then, he’s added a few miles per hour working with professional and hired coaches to optimize his mechanics, and now the pitch sits in the low-to-mid-90s, 92-95 MPH, topping out as high as 96 MPH. He complements his fastball with a curveball, slider, and changeup. At Northwestern, his curveball was his go-to secondary pitch, but the Pirates wanted him to throw the slider more and as such, he has used his slider more over the course of most of his professional career. The pitch is generally considered an average offering, and while it does not have wipeout bite, Oller is able to command the pitch well and locate it inside and outside of the zone, fooling batters who go fishing.