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
Mike Olt is the Texas Rangers' No. 2 prospect, behind Jurickson Profar who just happens to be the top prospect in all of baseball.
Even though they would never say it publicly, it was heavily rumored this winter that Olt was a central figure in many trade proposals the Rangers were a part of that never came to fruition. In spring training, Olt was given the chance to compete for a big-league roster spot and a utility type of player who could play third base (his natural position), first base and some right field.
But he failed to show he was ready for the bigs, especially at the plate, hitting just .194 with 12 strikeouts in only 31 at-bats, and he was optioned to Triple-A camp last week.
It's seemed doubtful for a while now that Olt was going to be able to play third base for the Rangers any time soon as Adrian Beltre is the team's best hitter and a gold glove third baseman, signed through the 2016 season.
Now word comes out Olt will play third base almost exclusively in Triple-A Round Rock this season to let him concentrate on one position and aim to get better that plate after raking in Double-A Frisco last season. What's that mean for Olt's future? It's hard to imagine it doesn't mean Olt will be shopped, especially if he starts hitting the ball in Round Rock.
As a top prospect in baseball, Olt could pull a premium player at the deadline, most likely a starting pitcher. So as much hype as Olt has built around here recently, we could have already seen his last game in a Rangers uniform.