The Texas Rangers are very rich in high-level prospects, and if Mike Olt were in just about any other organization, he'd likely be that club's top prospect. Unfortunately for Olt, in that regard, he's in the same organization as the top prospect in all of baseball, Jurickson Profar.
But even still, Olt has plenty of promise as a corner infielder with power after leading the Texas League in home runs last year despite being called up in the final month of the Frisco season. He was named the Rangers' minor league player of the year and had all kinds of potential.
Then came spring training, when Olt struggled mightily and was actually sent to the minor-league roster during Cactus League play — not a good sign. He started the season in Triple-A Round Rock and was awful, hitting .139 with 32 strikeouts — more than three times his number of hits — in 20 games. Yikes.
Turns out, Olt was dealing with a vision issue that caused bluriness and made it really difficult to focus on the baseball — a huge problem for a hitter at that high of level.
“When I blinked, it went away,” Olt told The Dallas Morning News. “I never had the blurry sensation. But as we got deeper into spring training and into the season [at Round Rock], my vision was starting to get more and more blurry. [Then] when I blinked at the plate, it started messing with my depth perception. I just couldn’t pick up the ball.”
Now, Olt is back in Triple-A Round Rock after a brief rehab stint at Frisco, where he hit .333 with a homer and two doubles in 12 at-bats, and it's all in thanks to some good ol' eye drops that he takes before every game and has helped get rid of the blurriness.
Now, Olt can comfortably play and try to work his way back up to Arlington, where he saw limited time last year after a call-up.
“It was major,” said Olt of the vision problems, “and now it’s minor. These drops have helped lubricate my eye, and it’s been night and day since I started taking them. I’ve been seeing the ball a whole lot better — way, way better.