Matt Garza was dealt to the Texas Rangers early on Monday evening and one of the players received by the Cubs was third basemen Mike Olt.
Olt is a 24 year old right handed kid that, at the beginning of the year, was considered by Baseball America to be the 22nd overall prospect in all of baseball. Olt is 6’2″ tall and weighs 210 pounds, he has the capability to play first base and right field in addition to third base.
He hasn’t had much experience in the big leagues, but has four seasons of minor league ball under his belt. Olt has appeared in just 16 MLB games, during those games he has struggled. His average sits a .152 with five hits and five RBI’s. During his four years in the minors though, Olt has been a contributor, he just hasn’t made that jump yet. He has a career .269 average with 64 home runs and 205 RBI’s. He also has 299 hits and a .375 on base percentage.
His best year came last year at double A Frisco. Olt batted .288, had 28 home runs, and 82 RBI’s. He has struggled a tad this year, he was at triple A Round Rock and he was batting just .213 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI’s.
One thing that was a major concern for the Cubs was an eye injury that has kept Olt out and even put him on the disabled list for some time. This is a lot different than a knee or an ankle, you can work your way back and strengthen yourself, but this has to do with Olt seeing the ball out of the pitchers hand.
I have confidence that Cubs wouldn’t have made the deal if that was a big problem. It seems to be a small issue that is fixed with some special eye drops for Olt.
Olt will be expected to be a part of the middle of the line-up in a couple years. Acquiring the corner infielder filled a huge hole at third that is just being plugged by anyone really. Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom have been solid there this year, but they aren’t long term answers for the Cubs.
The Cubs also acquired minor league pitchers C.J. Edwards, who is having a phenomenal year, and then Justin Grimm. The deal also includes two players to be named later. Olt will head to triple A Iowa.