The Rangers recently recalled Mike Olt and you have to believe it is not going to be to sit on the bench. Could he receive playing time over Michael Young & Mitch Moreland at first base? Could he see time as the designated hitter? Both are options, though early on it appears that the Rangers are going to be cautious with him and only play him against lefties.
With that in mind, is he worth owning in fantasy formats? Let’s take a look and learn everything we need to know about him:
- 23-years old (he will turn 24 at the end of August)
- Right handed hitter
- Drafted 49th overall in 2010
- Spent the entire season at Double-A hitting .288 with 28 HR, 82 RBI and 65 R in 354 AB
- Strikeouts have been a concern, with 101 this season (24.0%); it has actually been a consistent problem since making professional debut, with 253 K over 871 AB
- We would assume that this number would increase jumping to the Major Leagues, so hitting for a high average this season is a major concern
- Has shown the ability to draw walks, at 14.5% in 2012
- Had just 24 HR over first 517 professional at bats
- Part of his struggles in the power department in 2011 was due to missed time from a broken collarbone (missed about two months)
- Really came into his own inte Arizona Fall League after recovering from the injury, leading the league in home runs (13) and RBI (43) while hitting .349
- According to mlb.com, “Scouts who saw him in the AFL thought he had a chance to be a better all-around hitter than originally thought, though power and run production are what will get him to the big leagues.”
- Actually high better against right-handed pitching (.294, 20 HR, 58 RBI in 262 AB) but showed unbelievable power against left-handed pitching (.272, 8 HR, 24 RBI in 92 AB)
- Baseball America ranked him as the #11 prospect overall mid-year
- Prior to the season Baseball America said, “Sturdy and physically mature, he has great bat speed and impressive raw thunder. He projects as an average hitter, as he occasionally gets out front and struggles with quality offspeed stuff. Despite his selective approach, he strikes out often.”
- Based on that and the strikeout numbers, I would expect Major League pitchers to quickly feed him a steady diet of offspeed pitches and see how reacts
There is no doubting that he can hit, and hit for power. While I am concerned that he could struggle to make contact, in Arlington there shouldn’t be a lack of long balls. If that’s what you are looking for, he is well worth adding in all formats in yearly formats. In keeper leagues, it is a no-brainer if he is still available.
It will be interesting to see show is presences affects Michael Young. You could argue that Young was already worthless, but this could be the final mail in the coffin. However, before that happens Olt needs to prove that he can make consistent contact and play every day against right-handed pitching. If the Rangers give him that opportunity, Young could quickly be out of a job.