Prospect watch: Mike Olt, Tanner Scheppers
January, 25, 2012
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus and ESPN.com, put together his list of prospects who helped themselves with strong offseasons this winter. Two Rangers made Goldstein's list:
Mike Olt, 3B, Texas Rangers: Olt was in the midst of a breakout season, batting .286/.395/.508 in a tough park at high-A Myrtle Beach when he broke his collarbone in a home plate collision. Now 54 games does not a breakout make, so after a rusty return to finish the regular season, he picked up where he left off by leading the Arizona Fall League with 13 home runs in just 106 at-bats while batting .349/.433/.764.You can read the whole list here (Insider).
He's a plus defender at third base as well. His overall future is bright, but with Adrian Beltre entrenched at the position in the big leagues, Olt's future with Texas is a bit muddled.
Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Rangers: Scheppers hasn't been the same pitcher since the Rangers briefly dabbled with making him a starter, but he showed signs of returning to his old self in Venezuela this winter. With a classic two-pitch mix of a well-above-average fastball and power breaker, Scheppers has late innings potential.
While he walked 13 in 13 innings for Magallanes, he also limited batters to a 5-for-41 (.122) mark with 16 strikeouts. That's half of a major step forward for Scheppers, and the other half could land him in Texas in short order.