July 17, 2013 by Ryan S
Mike Olt. A top 50 prospect. And I want no part of him.
Why not? Olt is having vision problems that have sidelined him for part of 2013, and is hitting just .211 with nine homers in Triple-A this season. He has never had more than a cup of coffee in the bigs.
Earlier this evening, I caused a bit of a stir over at Bleacher Nation with this comment:
It isn’t just that Olt is having a down year, it’s that he’s a third baseman and is having a down year. The Cubs just drafted Kris Bryant, a third baseman who likely will not be in the minor leagues for very long.
I’ve heard that Bryant could move to the outfield, but I’d still take Valbuena’s .345 on-base percentage and decent power over a guy who’s hitting .211 with nine homers and 82 strikeouts at AAA.
Also, Josh Vitters is still young and I’d love to see him get another chance at the starting job. That might just be me, but I don’t think he was ever really given a shot at the job. It’s well known that he generally struggles in his first season at a new level. Shocker, he struggled at the big league level last season.
He’s had injury problems in 2013, but I say when he’s healthy, give him another opportunity. I think that it would be a complete waste to trade Garza to the Rangers if Olt is the payoff. I’d much rather see young pitching.
I don’t intend to rehash what I said over there, but Vitters, 23, has already had extended success with Triple-A Iowa but is fighting some injuries in 2013. He’s currently rehabbing and is 1-for-8 with the AZL Cubs.
Now, yes, Vitters has been in the minor leagues for seven years. But he is just 23 and was drafted when he was 17. He’s had success at every single level he’s reached so far. And he has a very long history of starting slowly when he comes to a new level and figuring it out the second time around.
The 25 year-old Olt has played almost exclusively at third base during his professional career. The Cubs just drafted Kris Bryant, a third baseman. Bryant could move to the outfield and may do so, but then there is Josh Vitters.
This post is not about Vitters, but it is saying that the Cubs have some pretty good options at third in their system– Vitters and Bryant are just a couple of prospects on a list that includes Junior Lake, Christian Villanueva, potentially Javier Baez and Jeimer Candelario.
So, in my eyes, to trade for Olt– though I would have approved last season before Olt’s struggles, the crazy high trade value of Garza (which I do believe is higher than in 2012) and the emergence of Baez– would be disappointing given the immense pool of prospects available for Garza.
Having a log jam at any position is great, but if you’re thin at other positions, acquiring more talent at a position that already has plenty is not wise. I’d rather see the Cubs get some pitching or maybe an outfielder for Garza.
That’s it for now, and go Cubs!