Mike Olt batting for the Cubs
|Chicago Cubs – No. 30|
August 27, 1988 |
New Haven, Connecticut
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|August 2, 2012 for the Texas Rangers|
|Runs batted in||38|
Michael George Olt (born August 27, 1988) is an American professional baseball third baseman in minor league baseball for the Chicago Cubs organization. He played college baseball at the University of Connecticut, and made his MLB debut with the Texas Rangers in 2012.
Olt attended Branford High School in Branford, Connecticut, where he played for the school's baseball team. In 2005, Branford won the Connecticut state championship. Olt then enrolled at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut, where he played college baseball for the Connecticut Huskies. He was named a freshman All-American. Olt played for the New England Collegiate Baseball League's Danbury Westerners in 2008.
The Rangers drafted Olt in the supplemental first round, with the 49th overall selection, of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. After the 2011 season, Olt participated in the Arizona Fall League.
Before the 2012 season, MLB.com ranked him as the 43rd best prospect in baseball. He was named to appear in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game. He was promoted from the Frisco RoughRiders of the Class AA Texas League to the majors on August 2, 2012. In his debut, Olt went 1-3 and collected a hit in his first at-bat. On August 11, he hit a pinch hit walk-off single to beat the Tigers, 2-1.
The Rangers optioned Olt to the Round Rock Express of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL) during spring training in 2013. He struggled to begin the season, batting .139 through April 25. He reported problems with depth perception, which specialists indicated could be the result of a concussion. When it was discovered that a lacrimal gland wasn't producing tears, he was given eye drops, which corrected the vision problem. He returned to Round Rock on June 3.
After batting .213 at Round Rock, the Rangers traded Olt to the Chicago Cubs on July 22, 2013, with Justin Grimm, C. J. Edwards, and a player to be named later (Neil Ramirez), in exchange for Matt Garza. Olt reported to the Iowa Cubs of the PCL. He batted .168 in 152 plate appearances with Iowa. He attempted to find a new way to treat his vision problem, as the eye drops he was given raise the chances of developing glaucoma.
At the start of spring training in 2014, Olt reported that his vision problems had been resolved. Olt competed for the starting third base job with the Cubs. He made the Cubs' Opening Day roster, though Cubs' manager Rick Renteria suggested that Olt would split playing time at third base with Luis Valbuena. Olt hit his first major league home run on April 3, and his first grand slam on May 8. Olt was demoted back to the Iowa Cubs on July 23, 2014 after posting a .139 batting average for the 2014 season. Twelve of his 31 hits were home runs by the time he was demoted, setting an all-time MLB season record for most home runs hit by a batter with an average below .170.
Olt's brother, Brad, was a teammate of Mike's with the Huskies. Brad also played baseball professionally for the Bad Homburg Hornets in the German Bundesliga.
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