Hot Prospect Testing 1B Waters

When the Texas Rangers signed gold glove third baseman Adrian Beltre a year ago, it stunted the growth of prospect Mike Olt.

Olt, who is the Rangers' top third base prospect, is just 23 years old and hit 14 home runs at Class-A Myrtle Beach in 2011 even though he missed two months with a broken collarbone.

He really started opening eyes in the Arizona Fall League, the famous fall league for top rookie prospects, when he led the league with 13 home runs and racked up a .349 batting average.

Olt will now start working at first base, as well as third, according to Rangers executives, which could accelerate his ascent to the majors with Beltre firmly having a grasp on the third base position.

First base is full of depth, but is without a slam dunk choice with Mitch Moreland, Mike Napoli and Michael Young, with Moreland being the everyday choice right now.

The Rangers did the same thing with former star Mark Teixeira, who came up as a third base prospect in the Rangers system before moving to first base to accomodate guys like Hank Blalock, as funny as that sounds. But Teixeira turned into a gold glover at first base, and Olt could do the same.

Don't get too excited yet though, the kid is still in Class A and will be fortunate to start the season at Double-A Frisco and if he tears things up, he could end up in Triple-A Round Rock, but don't expect him in the majors just yet, anyway.

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