5. Mike Olt, 3B/OF, Texas Rangers
Olt has several possible avenues to PT
Olt was taken by the Rangers with the 49th overall selection of the draft in 2010. The University of Connecticut alum spent 2011 with the club's Rookie-league affiliate and High Single-A Myrtle Beach, where he hit a combined .264 with 15 homers and 46 RBIs in 254 at-bats. Last year at Double-A Frisco, he had a slash line of .288/.398/.579 with 28 bombs and 82 RBIs in 354 at-bats.
The 24-year-old is big and strong (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) and delivers an impressive power stroke that will play well in the majors, especially at the hitter-friendly Ballpark in Arlington. He has a selective approach at the dish. He strikes out plenty thanks to a long swing (101 K's last year); however, he also draws a fairly decent number of walks. His glove and defense at third base are above-average, and he even moved across the diamond to first base last season. Olt is adding some versatility this spring by learning to play right field in hopes of cracking the opening day roster.
Texas sports a heavy left-handed-swinging bottom half of their projected lineup, so Olt would be a useful bench piece to counteract that. The problem is he has only five hits in 29 at-bats in camp (.172), and he hasn't played above Class AA, other than his short 2012 stint in the majors.
Still, he could make the cut when April 1 comes around if Texas feels he gives them a better option than Jeff Baker. Although unlikely, Nelson Cruz could face a suspension from his alleged involvement in a Miami clinic reported to have distributed PEDs to players. Olt would figure heavily into replacing Cruz in right if that came about. Adrian Beltre is aging and has had trouble staying healthy, so Olt will have plenty of opportunities to find playing time this year.
Top fantasy baseball prospects - AL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Top fantasy baseball prospects - NL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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