Manny Ramirez tutelage pays off

Updated: July 8, 2013, 10:44 PM ET
By Todd Wills | ESPNDallas.com

ROUND ROCK, Texas -- If Mike Olt comes up to the big leagues and helps the Rangers later this season, Manny Ramirez might deserve a small portion of the credit.

Ramirez, with Triple-A Round Rock attempting a comeback of his own, noticed a flaw in Olt's swing in the past few days. Olt, the Rangers' top hitting prospect in the minors, made an adjustment and had a 2-for-3 night with two of the hardest-hit balls in Sunday night's 4-0 victory over Omaha.

Olt was in a 1-for-22 slump before Sunday night's one-game turnaround, that after being on a home run tear since returning from the disabled list with vision issues.

Ramirez has a reputation for being religious about studying video, so Olt asked him to watch some clips of his swing.

"He saw that I was late and dropping my hands," said Olt, who made his debut with the Rangers last season, playing in 16 games. "We went to the cages and I worked with him."

Olt cranked a single on a 1-1 fastball in the third and had a double on a first-pitch fastball in the seventh inning. Round Rock hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh wants his players to stay aggressive on fastballs.

Coolbaugh welcomes Ramirez's knowledge and willingness to help his young teammates. Ramirez has a pedigree for being one of the best hitters of his generation, with, among other things, 555 career home runs.

"It's huge coming from a teammate," Coolbaugh said. "Mike is trying to get where Manny has been and has had a lot of success. It shows a lot of leadership skills."

Ramirez appeared in five games for Tampa Bay in 2011, then retired before official word came down of a 100-game suspension for a second positive steroids test. When he wanted to return in 2012, Major League Baseball and the players' union agreed he would serve a 50-game suspension. He played in the minors for Oakland in 2012 before asking for his release last June.

The Rangers have been told that Ramirez has completed all the suspension time that was needed to return to the major leagues.

Ramirez has fit in well in the Round Rock clubhouse, also spending time with infielders Leury Garcia and Yangervis Solarte.

"He's here for business," Olt said. "He has a job to do and you can tell he's determined to get back to the big leagues.

"He's Manny Ramirez. He's one of the all-time home runs guys. He's been on big teams in big situations. He makes it look so easy."

Olt was floored that Ramirez offered to help him. It's been a turbulent season for the 24-year-old Olt, who has seven home runs -- including two in one inning -- in the 33 games since coming back from the DL.

"He's been one of the guys," Olt said. "He didn't have to do that with me."

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