Olt opens career with hit in first at-bat for Texas

Olt opens career with hit in first at-bat for Texas

Olt opens career with hit in first at-bat for Texas
ARLINGTON -- Mike Olt made his Major League debut Thursday, starting at first base and batting eighth in Thursday's series finale against the Angels.

The Rangers' No. 3 prospect didn't take long to get comfortable, singling in his first at-bat against Angels lefty C.J. Wilson in the second inning. He finished 1-for-3 in the Rangers' 15-9 win.

"It was something I'll never forget," Olt said. "It was definitely an experience I've worked hard for my whole entire career. It was a special moment to be out there with these guys."

Olt's manager at Double-A Frisco, Steve Buechele, told him that he was getting called up late Wednesday night. Olt's name was thrown out there during speculation about deals leading up to the July 31 Trade Deadline.

"I couldn't talk," Olt said. "To have JD [general manger Jon Daniels] and all of our guys trust me, it does mean a lot. That's going to help me settle in here and work hard. I just want to make sure I can live up to the expectations. I don't want to let anyone down. I just want to come here and contribute."

"We wanted to give Mike a chance," Daniels said. "We feel like he's earned it. Both our scouts and development staff have recommended that he can help the club. He's a good athlete. He's a baseball player. He's smart and he puts the effort in."

In 95 games at Frisco, Olt was batting .288 with a Texas League-best 28 home runs, 82 RBIs and a .579 slugging percentage, which also led the Texas League. Primarily a third baseman in the Minor Leagues, Olt, who will wear No. 9, will likely see more time at first base and designated hitter against left-handed starters.

"I'm going to play him against lefties and sometimes when I bench [Adrian] Beltre, he'll play third against righties," manager Ron Washington said. "I saw him in Spring Training and I thought he handled [first base] well. He's going to be out of his natural position more often than he'll be at his natural position."