With the calendar officially turning to September on Monday, the front office of the Chicago Cubs has already done plenty to temper our expectations of potentially seeing prospects, such as Javier Baez, making their debut at Wrigley Field as rosters expand. However, there is still going to be some intrigue for the Cubs this month.
Initially, it was a question of whether or not Mike Olt would be among the names called up to the big league roster in September. A former top prospect of the Texas Rangers, Olt was acquired in the Matt Garza deal. He had struggled mightily in the first half of the year in the Rangers’ farm system, before coming over and doing the same initially with Iowa. There are reasons for that, including some vision problems that limited him earlier this year when he was still with Texas.
Those struggles might just be behind him at this point, though. He’s coming off of a performance in which he struggled mightily, striking out four times, but prior to that, he had finally looked like he had put it all together. He was getting on base, and hitting the ball well, leading to a pretty impressive 10 game stretch.
Over the course of that stretch, Olt had maintained an average over .350, gotten on base at a .500 clip. That included a seven-game run in which he hit over .450 and had walked seven times. That helped to get his average up over .200. As rough as it is that he came crashing back down to earth with his 0-for-4 performance this weekend, he’s starting to look like a guy worthy of a September callup.
There’s no doubt that Olt is an intriguing player, on multiple levels. The Cubs have other third base prospects throughout the system, but Olt represents the most big league ready of any of them, mainly given the fact that he’s already logged time at this level. What he can do could have a major impact on the future of other prospects at the hot corner for the Cubs. Whether that would mean positional changes or trades remains to be seen.
If Olt can continue to display consistency over this next small stretch of games, he could turn into a no brainer for a September callup. He’s playing with something to prove now, and he may not want to wait until 2014 to make his Cubs debut if he wants to establish himself as a building block for the future.