Mike Olt

Michael George Olt (born August 27, 1988) is an American former professional baseball third baseman. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, and Chicago White Sox. He played college baseball at the University of Connecticut.

Mike Olt
Olt with the San Antonio Missions in 2016
Third baseman
Born: (1988-08-27) August 27, 1988
New Haven, Connecticut
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 2, 2012, for the Texas Rangers
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 2015, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.168
Home runs16
Runs batted in43

Amateur career

Olt attended Branford High School in Branford, Connecticut, where he played for the school's baseball team. He started at shortstop for the school's varsity baseball team in all four years at Branford.[1] In 2006, Branford won the Connecticut state championship.[2] After graduating high school, Olt was not selected in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft.[1]

Olt 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.[3] Olt played for the New England Collegiate Baseball League's Danbury Westerners in 2008. In 2008 and 2009, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod Baseball League.[4]

Professional career

Texas Rangers

The Rangers drafted Olt in the supplemental first round, with the 49th overall selection, of the 2010 MLB Draft.[5] After he signed, Olt played for the Spokane Indians of the Class A-Short Season Northwest League.[6] In 2011, Olt played for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Class A-Advanced, where he batted .267 with 14 home runs.[7] He broke his collarbone in a collision in June, and missed ten weeks of the season.[8][9] Olt participated in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) after the 2011 season.[10] Olt led the AFL with 13 home runs.[7]

Before the 2012 season, MLB.com ranked him as the 43rd best prospect in baseball.[11] Olt began the season with the Frisco RoughRiders of the Class AA Texas League, and was named to appear in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game.[12] After he batted .287 with 27 home runs and 81 runs batted in (RBIs) for Frisco, the Rangers promoted Olt to the major leagues on August 2.[13] In his debut, Olt recorded a hit in his first at-bat, and went 1-for-3.[14] On August 11, he hit a pinch hit walk-off single to beat the Tigers, 2-1.[15]

The Rangers optioned Olt to the Round Rock Express of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL) during spring training in 2013.[16] He struggled to begin the season, batting .139 through April 25. He reported problems with depth perception,[17] which specialists indicated could be the result of a concussion.[18] When it was discovered that a lacrimal gland wasn't producing tears, he was given eye drops, which corrected the vision problem.[19] He returned to Round Rock on June 3.[17]

Chicago Cubs

After batting .213 at Round Rock,[20] 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.[21] 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.[20]

At the start of spring training in 2014, Olt reported that his vision problems had been resolved.[22] Olt competed for the starting third base job with the Cubs.[23] 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.[24] Olt hit his first major league home run on April 3,[25] and his first grand slam on May 8.[26] Olt was demoted back to Iowa on July 23, 2014 after posting a .139 batting average for the 2014 season.[27] 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.[28]

With Valbuena traded in the offseason,[29] the Cubs opened the 2015 season with Olt as their starting third baseman, and top prospect Kris Bryant starting the year in Iowa.[30] On April 17, Olt was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hairline fracture in his right wrist,[31] and Bryant was called up to replace him.[32][33] He was moved to the 60-day disabled list four days later.[34] Olt returned to play with Iowa[35][36] and was designated for assignment on August 31.[37]

Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox claimed Olt off of waivers on September 5, 2015,[38] and inserted him into their lineup at third base the next day.[39] Olt batted .203 in 24 games for the White Sox.[40] On September 16, Olt hit a home run, becoming the only player in MLB history to hit a home run for both Chicago MLB teams in the same season. [41]

During the 2015-16 offseason, the White Sox acquired Todd Frazier as their third baseman. They designated Olt for assignment during spring training,[42] after he had batted 1-for-10 in spring training games. The White Sox released Olt on March 15.[43]

Later career

On March 17, 2016, Olt signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres.[44] He played primarily for the San Antonio Missions as well as three games for the El Paso Chihuahuas. Olt signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox on February 7, 2017.[45] He played for the Portland Sea Dogs. He elected free agency on November 6, 2017, and signed a new minor league contract with Boston on December 27.[46] He elected free agency on November 3, 2018.

Olt signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins on January 28, 2019. He was released on March 27, 2019. On April 23, 2019, Olt signed with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He was released on June 20, 2019. On July 6, 2019, Olt signed with the Algodoneros de Unión Laguna of the Mexican League. He was released on July 15, 2019. Olt announced his retirement on October 25, 2019.[47]

Personal life

Olt's brother, Brad, was a teammate of Mike's with the Huskies.[3] Brad also played baseball professionally for the Bad Homburg Hornets in the German Bundesliga.[48]


  1. Amore, Dom (August 8, 2012). "Mike Olt: From UConn To The Major Leagues In A Flash". Hartford Courant. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  2. Bunko, Gary (August 7, 2005). "Branford Wins First Title: Bethke Pitches Six-hitter In Final; State Legion Tournament". Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  3. Verrier, Justin (February 27, 2010). "Olt's Big Bat Needed Even More At UConn". Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  4. "MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS FROM THE CAPE COD LEAGUE" (PDF). capecodbaseball.org. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  5. "Texas Rangers sign 3B Mike Olt, 49th overall player selected in 2010 First-Year Player Draft | texasrangers.com: Official Info" (Press release). Mlb.mlb.com. June 18, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  6. Zanardi, Pete (August 4, 2010). "Mike Olt making minor adjustments". Shoreline Times. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  7. "Mike Olt 93rd Pelican to the Majors: Rangers Purchase Contract of Double-A Infielder". MiLB.com. August 2, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  8. Malafronte, Chip (June 11, 2011). "MINOR LEAGUES: Branford's Mike Olt out up to 10 weeks with broken collarbone following collision at plate". New Hampshire Register. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  9. Sullivan, T.R. (November 8, 2011). "Olt thriving, learning in Arizona Fall League". MLB.com. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  10. "Olt homers, drives in six in Fall League | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Milb.com. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  11. "2012 Prospect Watch | MLB.com: Prospects". Mlb.mlb.com. June 19, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  12. "Prospects pack rosters for 2012 All-Star Futures Game | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. June 19, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  13. Durrett, Richard. "Rangers purchase Mike Olt's contract - Dallas Texas Rangers Blog - ESPN Dallas". Espn.go.com. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  14. "Mike Olt debut: singles in first major league at-bat". Sports Illustrated. August 3, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  15. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (August 11, 2012). "Olt's single the game winner for the Rangers". Sportsblogs.star-telegram.com. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  16. "Rangers hoping move to triple-A will help Mike Olt get regular work, improve versatility | Texas Rangers Blog". Rangersblog.dallasnews.com. Archived from the original on March 21, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  17. "Fresh start for Mike Olt gives him leg up for Cubs' third-base job | cubs.com: News". Chicago.cubs.mlb.com. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  18. Gosselin, Rick (June 3, 2013). "Gosselin: Partly cloudy future turning bright for Rangers' Mike Olt | Dallasnews.com - News for Dallas, Texas - SportsDayDFW". Dallasnews.com. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  19. "Texas Rangers prospect Mike Olt is finally seeing himself heading back to Triple-A | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. May 31, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  20. "Former Texas Rangers prospect Mike Olt having more vision problems | Dallas Morning News". Rangersblog.dallasnews.com. October 6, 2013. Archived from the original on May 14, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  21. "Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza traded to Texas Rangers". chicagotribune.com. July 13, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  22. "Cubs notes: Olt 'seeing' just fine - Chicago Cubs Blog - ESPN Chicago". Espn.go.com. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  23. "Fresh start for Mike Olt gives him leg up for Cubs' third-base job | cubs.com: News". Chicago.cubs.mlb.com. October 18, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  24. "Prospect Mike Olt makes Chicago Cubs' Opening Day roster - ESPN Chicago". Espn.go.com. March 29, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  25. "MLB.com Gameday | MLB.com: Gameday". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  26. "Mike Olt hoping to find his stroke for Chicago Cubs - ESPN Chicago". Espn.go.com. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  27. "Mike Olt optioned by Chicago Cubs to Triple-A Iowa - ESPN Chicago". Espn.go.com. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  28. "Batting Season Finder - Baseball-reference.com". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  29. Gonzales, Mark (February 23, 2015). "Mike Olt putting positive spin on Cubs' third-base competition". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  30. "Cubs: Mike Olt can't worry about Kris Bryant Watch". CSN Chicago. April 7, 2015. Archived from the original on April 10, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  31. Trotto, Sarah (April 18, 2015). "Olt may be in cast for up to four weeks". MLB.com. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  32. Muskat, Carrie (April 17, 2015). "Bryant callup not 'scripted,' comes from position need". MLB.com. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  33. Trotto, Sarah (April 17, 2015). "Cubs shake up roster in addition to Bryant callup". MLB.com. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  34. "Cubs promote highly touted prospect Addison Russell". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 21, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  35. "Regarding future with Cubs, Mike Olt's ready for anything". Des Moines Register. June 28, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  36. Bruce Miles (July 10, 2015). "Olt comes off DL, what's next for third baseman?". Daily Herald. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  37. "James Russell, Mike Olt DFA as Cubs make roster moves for playoff race". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  38. Kane, Collen (September 5, 2015). "White Sox claim third baseman Mike Olt off waivers from the Cubs". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  39. Kane, Colleen (September 6, 2015). "Mike Olt hopeful White Sox will be a good fit". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  40. "White Sox Release Mike Olt, Make 3 More Moves". Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  41. "Olt Becomes 1st Player to Homer for White Sox and Cubs in Same Season". Bleacher Report. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  42. Chicago Tribune (March 6, 2016). "White Sox sign outfielder Austin Jackson to 1-year, $5 million deal". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  43. "White Sox Release Mike Olt, Make 3 More Moves". Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  44. Lin, Dennis (March 17, 2016). "Padres sign Mike Olt to minor league deal". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  45. Cassese, Daniel (February 7, 2017). "Red Sox sign former top-100 prospect Mike Olt". FOX Sports. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  46. Downing, Kyle (December 27, 2017). "Minor MLB Transactions: 12/27/17". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  47. Jeff Todd (October 25, 2019). "Mike Olt Announces Retirement". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  48. "Brad Olt Signs Professional Contract in Germany: Olt played at UConn in 2007-08". University of Connecticut. January 18, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
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