The saga of Mike Olt is a happy ending short of being a Disney movie. After being highly ranked as a prospect, he ran into some tough years thanks in part (although how much in part is up for debate) to a concussion and some eye issues. Those issues addressed, he joined the Chicago Cubs in 2014 and was a source of quite a lot of early excitement.
And then things went poorly. Olt lost his starting job, stopped hitting, and was ultimately sent back to the minors sporting a scary line of .139/.222/.353. Iowa, of course, is the current home of one Manny Ramirez.
Early fame. Injuries. A taste of major league success. Struggles. Demotion. The chance to work with a legendary hitter. Screenwriters could write the ending to this one in their sleep.
And so far that could be what is happening. No sooner did Olt get to Iowa than he started hitting again, and hitting prolifically. After a weekend homer binge, he is up to five home runs in nineteen games in Triple A, all while hitting just shy of .340.
But don’t start casting for “The Incredible Story of Mike Olt” just yet. While the early numbers in Iowa are phenomenal, they are propped up by a completely unsustainable BABIP over .400. Olt, in other words, has gotten very lucky. His strikeout rate also remains uncomfortably close to 30%, an awfully high number for any hitter in Triple A, let alone an older more veteran hitter like Olt. That is good reason to think that the issues that plagued Olt in the majors are still with him.
The season isn’t over though, and there may yet be some adjustments Olt can make that will increase his contact rate enough to forge a career at the highest level. That seems somewhat unlikely, but it isn’t out of the question. The final chapter remains to be written. Unfortunately, I think it will more resemble “Casey At The Bat” than “The Natural.”
Scores From The Weekend
Friday – The Smokies dropped the opener 8-1, and the second of the double header 4-1.
Saturday – A Saturday rainout set up another doubleheader.
Sunday – The Smokies won the opener 3-0, but lost the finale in extras 9-8.
Friday – A huge ninth inning rally came up one run shy as Daytona lost 8-7.
Saturday – The Cubs wasted some pretty good pitching in this 3-1 loss.
Sunday – They came out of the weekend with a win, although they had to play thirteen innings to earn it. The final was 4-3.
Kane County -
Friday – The Cougars made a first inning lead hold up in this 6-5 win.
Saturday – Kane County came up a run shy in this 3-2 loss.
Sunday – A run in the eighth set the stage for a fifteen inning marathon and a 7-4 win.
Boise Hawks -
Friday – The comeback attempt didn’t quite make it and Boise lost 4-3.
Saturday – This game got ugly in a hurry as the Hawks lost 16-3.
Sunday – The Hawks came home and jumped to early lead on their way to a 17-3 blowout win.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Mike Olt finished the weekend with 5 hits, including 3 homers and a double. He also walked twice and struck out 4 times.
- [Iowa] Jorge Soler finished the weekend with 4 hits, including 2 doubles and a homer (his 5th for Iowa). He also walked 4 times and struck out twice.
- [Iowa] Eric Jokisch stuck out 5 and allowed 2 runs on 9 hits over 6.2 innings on Sunday. Alberto Cabrera completed that game.
- [Tennessee] Pierce Johnson pitched 6 innings of 1 hit ball to open the shutout on Sunday. He walked two and struck out 8. Andrew McKirahan completed the game.
- [Tennessee] Corey Black, C.J. Edwards and Ivan Pineyro also pitched this weekend, although none of those three pitched particularly well. Still, the important part is that they are all back in town and all healthy. Finally.
- [Tennessee] Albert Almora emerged from the pair of doubleheaders with just two singles to show for it. On the good side, he only struck out once.
- [Tennessee] Addison Russell doubled and finished with 4 hits, building up a 5 game hitting streak in the process.
- [Tennessee] Just in time for the playoff push, Dustin Geiger‘s potent bat might finally be coming around. He doubled twice and finished the weekend with 3 hits in limited time.
- [Daytona] Kyle Schwarber had just one hit this weekend, but he walked 4 times against 3 strikeouts. As a result of his ability to lay off the balls, Schwarber has a Daytona OBP of .393 despite an average of just .244.
- [Daytona] Rock Shoulders doubled, homered twice (leaving him at 12 on the year), walked 5 times, and struck out 3 times in one of his best weekends of the season.
- [Daytona] Rob Zastryzny struck out 7 over 5 innings on Sunday. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. Zack Godley and Gerardo Concepcion combined to pitch scoreless innings in relief.
- [Daytona] Jose Rosario struck out 7 over 6 innings on Friday. He also allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk.
- [Kane County] Michael Wagner struck out 5 in 4 innings of 2 hit scoreless relief on Friday. Francisco Carrillo struck out 4 in 2.1 scoreless innings on Sunday.
- [Kane County] Shawon Dunston hit his second homer of the year and finished the weekend with 5 hits and his 19th steal.
- [Kane County] Danny Lockhart, a second baseman, is only recently came back from a trip to the DL, but he has come back red hot. He collected 7 hits this weekend, including two doubles and a triple. Since his return (8 games) he is hitting .452/.500/.645.
- [Kane County] Catcher Cael Brockmeyer doubled and finished with 7 hits as well. He walked 3 times and struck out just twice.
- [Boise] On a Sunday full of great lines, Jesse Hodges had the best. He hit his 6th homer of the year, and it happened to be a grand slam, as part of a 4 hits day that also included a double.
- [Boise] Charcer Burks had an impressive Sunday as well. He reached base 5 times on 3 walks and 2 singles, and scored 3 times.
- [Boise] Erick Leal was the beneficiary of all the Sunday run support. He allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings while striking out 3.
- [Arizona] Jeferson Mejia struck out 5 and walked 3 in 5 innings of 2 run 1 hit ball on Saturday.
- [Arizona] Jake Stinnett pitched 2 more scoreless frames on Friday, allowing 3 hits and striking out a pair. Alex Santana followed with 6 strikeouts over 4 innings of 2 run ball.
- [Arizona] Second baseman Andrew Ely doubled twice and finished the weekend with 4 hits and his first stolen base.
- [Arizona] Switch hitting first baseman Roney Alcala doubled twice, homered (his second) and finished with 3 hits.
- The fifteen inning affair on Sunday lasted an even five hours. The last pitcher on the mound for Kane County was Ben Carhart, the catcher/infielder/DH/now-pitcher do everything guy. Interestingly, he was the DH in this one before he came in to pitch.
- On Sunday the Hawks pounded out fifteen hits and drew seven walks. No wonder Hodges was able to drive in seven runs all by himself.