- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot blogger
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As I suggested a couple days ago, the Rangers have called up third baseman Mike Olt from Double-A. I can't imagine they called him to sit on the bench, so while he probably won't play much third base with Adrian Beltre around, he might platoon at first base with Mitch Moreland and see some time at designated hitter, with Michael Young presumably getting less playing time.
A reader the other day in our trade deadline chat compared Olt to Mark Reynolds. It's an interesting comparison. Like Olt, Reynolds was promoted to the majors from Double-A, although Reynolds had even less time there than Olt. Their stats in Double-A, however, are similar:
Reynolds (ages 22-23): 67 G, .290/.372/.540, 11.0% BB rate, 24.5% K rate
Olt (age 23): 95 G, .288/.298/.579, 14.5% BB rate, 24.0% K rate
Reynolds, of course, has carved out a big league career despite shattering all-time strikeout records. His career walk rate in the majors is 11.7 percent, but his career strikeout rate is an off-the-charts 32.9 percent. He's such an extreme player -- he's hit enough home runs (as least before this season with Baltimore) and draws enough walks to make himself semi-useful -- that it's difficult to imagine a similar scenario developing with Olt.
Olt does have a better minor league walk rate than Reynolds, so that's a good sign. He is going to swing and miss a lot. If he can maintain his minor league strikeout rate, he should become a star player with power on solid on-base skills. He's certainly capable of producing more right now than what Young is providing the Rangers. But if Olt's strikeout rate does creep into Reynolds territory, I'm guessing Ron Washington won't have the same patience the Diamondbacks showed with Reynolds.