Tewksbury’s Oliveira Spending Summer in Futures League
Jun 29, 2015 12:38PM
● By Thomas Joyce
Tewksbury native Cameron Oliveira has waited patiently these past two seasons and finally, he is right where he wants to be.
A rising junior at SNHU, Oliveira is spending his summer with the Seacoast Mavericks of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League while his classmates are at the beach. Overall satisfied with his spring, Oliveira understands that there is more work to be done.
In the spring, he took significant reps for a backup—catching 21 of the team’s 45 games. After only making a handful of appearances the year before, Oliveira’s patience appears to finally be paying off—and it showed at the plate as well.
“My freshman year I struggled a little bit,” Oliveira said. “This past year I’ve really been working on my approach which has gotten a lot better. I think that’s why my OBP was so high. My coaches just made my approach so much better. I was hunting fastballs and wasn’t chasing so many curveballs as I did in the past. That’s where my patience comes from—the approach.”
Drawing more walks (16) than hits (13), Oliveira isn’t afraid to wait at the plate for the right pitch and if he doesn’t see it, he is content with a free pass. His .425 on-base percentage would be top five in Major League Baseball.
Once again this summer, Oliveira has to show patience when it comes to seeing live reps—the Mavs have four catchers on their active roster. Albeit it is tough for anyone in the Futures League to see reps on an everyday basis, Oliveira still believes it is a rewarding experience.
“My experience has been fantastic so far,” he said. “The Seacoast Mavericks have been treating me very well. It’s a great experience playing in ballparks like here (Brockton) and Nashua. You get to play in front of a lot of fans and have a lot of fun.
Through 15 games this season, the Tewksbury Memorial High School alum had caught on six occasions, never with less than a day’s rest between. He is earning reps with the Mavs, but ideally he wants to take as many reps as possible.
“I just want to get as many at-bats as possible, catch as many different guys as possible,” he said. “And ultimately just be ready headed into Southern New Hampshire to win that starting job. Hopefully we can make a little trip to North Carolina for the D2 College World Series.”
The logical successor behind the plate at SNHU as their starting catcher graduated this spring, Oliveira is in position to start his junior and senior seasons if all goes according to plan. Catcher is a defense-first position, but he does not plan on skimping offensively.
“I’m just trying to find my swing completely—trying to swing the bat to my full potential,” he said. “Right now I think I’m hitting pretty well. The average might not show it but my AB’s are feeling better. I just want to have a perfect swing when I head back to school.”
In six games, he has reached base on seven occasions (.333 on-base percentage) and believes that both his batting average and on-base percentage will increase as he sees consistent at-bats.
Although Oliveira is the one receiving balls behind the plate, he admits he has had help along the way. With the ideal mix of coaching and support, he says he made it to where he is today.
“I’d have to say Steve Lomansey (former Red Sox catcher) who works for the Showcase Baseball Academy,” he said. “He’s helped me a lot—especially catching. Jack Antonelli out of Antonelli baseball and his son Matt (former San Diego Padres infielder) helped me out as well.
“My biggest inspiration obviously are my parents and my family. I’m doing it for them. Them coming to games and being able to see me play is fantastic—everybody knows you do it for the family.”