High school and collegeEdit
Olson attended Buchanan High School in Clovis, California. He played for the Anchorage Bucs in the Alaska Baseball League in 2004, going 7-0 with a 0.88 ERA, and was a Summer League First-Team All-American starting pitcher.
He attended Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo for college, where in his last year he was 12-4 with a 2.71 ERA. In 2005, he was a Big West Conference All-Star starting pitcher. Olson is just a few credits short of an engineering degree.
Olson was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles as a sandwich pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds (48th overall) of the 2005 draft.
He spent most of the 2005 season at Class A Aberdeen IronBirds, and was named the 8th-best prospect in the New York-Penn League. He allowed one run or fewer in 10 of his 11 games. He pitched 6 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out 8, in his last start on August 15 at Staten Island. Olson then pitched for the Class A Frederick Keys, held opponents to a .192 batting average, and was named the Orioles' 6th-best prospect by Baseball America following the season.
In 2006, he advanced from Class A Frederick to AA Bowie, going a combined 10-9 with a 3.10 ERA, and striking out 162 batters in 165.2 innings. He was again named the Orioles' 6th-best prospect by Baseball America following the season, and was named the Baltimore Orioles Minor League Player of the Year.
Through 2007, in his minor league career he was 21-17 with a 2.95 ERA, and had averaged 7.37 hits and 8.82 strikeouts per 9 innings.
Olson was promoted from the Norfolk Tides to take the place of injured Orioles starter Steve Trachsel, and he made his major league debut on Independence Day of 2007 against the Chicago White Sox. He would have earned the win in his debut, but he only pitched 4⅓ innings, falling two outs shy of the 5 innings required to qualify for a win. He earned his first career win in his next start, also against the White Sox, on July 14. He gave up 2 runs in 5⅓ innings, both on solo home runs by Jermaine Dye, and the Orioles went on to win 5-3.
Olson committed his first career error in his debut on July 4. After allowing the first batter he faced in his career, left fielder Andy Gonzalez, to reach base via a walk, he made a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, allowing Gonzalez to reach second base. His first career strikeout came three batters later, as Paul Konerko was called out on a 2-2 pitch.
- Baltimore Orioles bio
- Baseball-Reference.com - Major league career statistics
- Baseball Cube
- "O's Olson Takes Educated Approach to Pitching," 3/1/07