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Oklahoma City RedHawks: Mike Olt notices dramatic difference between big league pitching and Double-A pitching

Olt said a brief major league audition with the Rangers was invaluable. He said that experience will help him this season, his first in Triple-A.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: April 18, 2013
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photo - MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: Mike Olt of the Round Rock Express throws back to first in the first inning of a baseball game against the Oklahoma City RedHawks at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: Mike Olt of the Round Rock Express throws back to first in the first inning of a baseball game against the Oklahoma City RedHawks at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Olt is in a similar situation as Rangers shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar. There were rumors Olt could be asked to change positions since he's blocked by Rangers All-Star third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Olt played a handful of games in the outfield with the Rangers during spring training but has played only third base the first 15 games with Round Rock. Even if the Rangers eventually ask him to play some outfield, Olt said he's more comfortable than last season.

“Last year, I really didn't practice it at all. I just kind of went out there and played,” Olt said. “This year, I picked up a lot of little things, making reads and all that. To only way to learn what the ball is going to do off the bat is practice.”

The Rangers might eventually move Olt to right field or possibly first base where Mitch Moreland isn't a lock to hold on to the position. But similar to Profar, there are rumors the Rangers might trade Olt to upgrade their roster.

“Two years ago, it first started that I might possibly get traded,” Olt said. “Last year, I didn't think about it. Whatever happens happens. I feel I'll be in a good situation no matter where I'm at whether I stay with Texas, a great organization, or I get my shot somewhere else.”

Olt's focus is to find his hitting stroke, so when he gets his shot he'll be better prepared.

“It's about trusting your game plan each at bat,” Olt said. “It's different than lower levels. Here or the majors you have to know certain situations like a runner on second they might throw a different pitch in a different spot. You have to study more what pitchers are trying to do. It's a different game.”