Texas Rangers prospect Mike Olt is experiencing plenty of firsts since the conclusion of his second pro season. He played in the Arizona Fall League, was invited to major league spring training and was told he will see time at first base. Here’s another first for the third baseman: He is in his first season at the Double-A level.
“Double-A is definitely a big jump from High-A. I guess my first impression is there’s definitely a lot of work I have to do in order to continue to climb the latter,” Olt said. “You’ve got step up your game mentally and try to figure out what they like to throw in certain situations.”
Olt was a guest on Rangers Magazine (ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM). The third-year pro out of the University of Connecticut was the Rangers' first-round pick (49th overall) in the 2010 June draft. Through 29 games, he is batting .287 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs. His on-base percentage is .394, and he has a .959 OPS.
Ahead of Olt in the organization is Adrian Beltre, who is locked into a long-term contract and is a Gold Glove third baseman. Versatility is important, whether it is the majors or minors. We have seen it with Michael Young and his super-utility role as well as the Rangers outfielders playing multiple spots instead of being planted in one position. In the minors, we see it with shortstop Jurickson Profar seeing time at second base and with Olt occasionally moving across the diamond to first base.
“I was excited,” Olt recalled of when the Rangers told him he would see time at first base. “Obviously, we have Mitch Moreland up at first base right now who is also a very good first baseman. So, basically I kind of took it as they are trying to make me more versatile in case something were to happen. I’m up for the challenge, and certainly first base is coming along.”
Olt also talked about Steve Buechele, spring training fun, being a teammate with Profar, and the AFL experience. Listen to the podcast.
Bryan Dolgin is the host of Rangers Magazine and the radio pre and postgame shows of the Texas Rangers on the Texas Rangers ESPN Radio Network. Follow him on Twitter @RangersRadioBD.