Every Monday through the rest of the minor league season, I'll be taking a look at a prospect who is either at AA or AAA, and could potentially have an impact on your fantasy season this year. Today's prospect is one who is currently in AA, but is still blocked for the foreseeable future at the Major League level. He played in the Futures Game last weekend, and has crushed 22 home runs through last Tuesday's games.
There are a couple of different ways that Rangers' 3B prospect Mike Olt could see time in the Majors this year, so let's take a look at what he could give to fantasy owners if he were called up.
Weight: 210 lbs.
Age: 23 years old
On 40-man roster: No
Olt was drafted out of the University of Connecticut in the supplemental first round of the 2010 draft by the Texas Rangers. He signed for a bonus of about $717,000 (from Baseball America's draft database), and did so quickly enough to appear in 69 games with the Rangers' affiliate in the Northwest League that year. In the Northwest League, Olt hit 9 home runs and drove in 43 runs along with a .293/.390/.464 slash line.
Olt was promoted to High-A Myrtle Beach for the 2011 season, and was hitting well (.286, .507 SLG, 10 HR in 54 games) when he broke his clavicle. He missed a majority of the remainder of the season, but did manage to play in another 15 games before the season ended.
Despite this, the Rangers promoted Olt to AA Frisco for the 2012 season, and he has really come into his own. Through last Tuesday, he is hitting .292/.403/.574 with 22 home runs and 63 RBI.
What's Stopping Him From Contributing Now?
Despite being a shortstop through most of his college career, the Rangers immediately converted Olt to the hot corner, and reports on his defense to this point have been excellent. However, the Rangers have a very good defensive 3B who is also an excellent hitter locked up for 3+ years after the 2012 season. As a result of this, Olt's name continues to come up as a potential trade chip for the Rangers to go out and get themselves whatever they determine they need for the stretch run.
The other factor to me is that he has not been placed on the 40-man roster yet. Unless they need him in Arlington this year, there's not a lot of incentive to move him onto the roster. Conceivably, if the team wanted to get his bat up for the stretch run, they could move him to 1B or a corner outfield spot, but both are positions he has not played very much in the minors.
What Could He Do When He Gets There?
Olt has a ton of power, and to me looks like he could be a .285-.290 hitter with at least 20 homers a season regardless of where he ends up playing his home games. In Texas, I could see those numbers inflating slightly due to the park factors, but either way you are likely looking at a top 10 3B when he plays a full season in the Majors.
When Could He Get To The Show?
If he ends up staying with the Rangers past the trading deadline, I don't think he gets called up to the bigs until sometime mid-2013 at the soonest. If they were to hold onto him, they would likely be working to figure out a position for him to play long-term, and I could see him working on a new position until then.
If he does get traded, I could see him being the starting 3B for the 2013 season depending on who is already in-house for the position for that team.
Olt looks like a very good fantasy 3B prospect, with the potential to be a very good fantasy 3B for all formats. He looks like he will hit for at least a solid batting average, with solid to above-average power production. It pains me to say it, but I would probably rank him as the #2 3B prospect right now, behind Nick Castellanos and ahead of Nolan Arenado.
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