Aug. 2, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas – In just over two years in the minors, former University of Connecticut third baseman Mike Olt has been called up to make his debut in Major League Baseball by the Texas Rangers. Olt, who was playing at Double-A Frisco, had his contract purchased by the big league club late Wednesday night.
With his call-up, Olt becomes the 12th UConn baseball player to reach the majors and the first to debut since left-handed pitcher Jesse Carlson in 2008. Olt will also be the first Husky to appear in a MLB game this season and continues a streak of 23-consecutive years that a player from Connecticut has played in the big leagues, dating back to the debut of righty Charles Nagy in 1990. The last field player from UConn to appear in the majors was catcher Brian Esposito in 2010.
“We’re so excited for Mike,” said Connecticut head coach Jim Penders. “He is a great example of what our program is all about and I’m glad his hard word and dedication are being rewarded.”
For the Frisco RoughRiders of the Texas League, Olt batted .288, while leading the league in home runs (28), slugging percentage (.579) and OPS (.977). He also ranks second with 82 runs batted in to go with 65 runs, 17 doubles and a .398 on-base percentage.
Olt made previous stops in Myrtle Beach (A-Adv.), Spokane (A-S.S.) and with the AZL Rangers (Rook.) as well as a stint in the Arizona Fall League in 2011. He was drafted by Texas with the 49th overall selection as a first round supplementary pick in 2010, making him the first Husky taken in the first round since Nagy in 1988.
“He woke his mom and dad to tell them to pack for Texas early this morning,” continued Penders. “He and his brother Brad got them flights to Dallas for his debut tonight. That is the type of son they have raised.”
The Rangers are at home tonight to host division rival Los Angeles at 8:05 pm ET. Olt is expected to make his major league debut at first base against former Texas lefty C.J. Wilson (9-7, 2.88). The Rangers are currently four games ahead of the Angels for the AL West Division lead with a 60-43 record and are coming off an 11-10 walk-off victory in 10 innings on Wednesday night.