SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 11: Mike Olt #70 of the Texas Rangers at bat against the Cleveland Indians during a spring training baseball game at Surprise Stadium on March 11, 2012 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mike Olt
Everyone knows Jurickson Profar has long been the Texas Rangers' top prospect, and by many accounts, the top prospect in all of baseball.
But right behind Profar all of that time was Mike Olt, the Rangers' prospect corner-infield prospect who actually made his big-league debut before Profar last season, not with the same fanfare or success.
Olt was fighting for a roster spot in spring training but was miserable at the plate, leading to a demotion before spring training even broke, and the struggles continued during the start of the Pacific Coast League season with Triple-A Round Rock.
In his first three weeks this season, Olt hit .139 before going on the minor-league DL with some vision problems, getting on eye drops and eventually recovering. Now, he's enjoying the benefits of being able to actually see the ball.
Now, Olt is on a tear for the Express, as he's hit .323 over his last eight games with four homers and nearly as many walks (five) as strikeouts (seven). He had two homers in one inning on Sunday and homered again on Wednesday.
Olt has been playing third base exclusively since his return from the DL, and he's clearly not fitting into the Rangers' plans at that position behind gold-glove all-star Adrian Beltre, but if he keeps up this performance at the plate it's within reason to think he could begin working in the corner outfield spots again (he has in the past) to help alleviate a scuffling David Murphy in left field or Nelson Cruz, who has the Biogenesis cloud hanging over his head, in right field.