Knowing that their chief American League West rival, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, significantly improved their rotation with Zack Greinke, the Texas Rangers are hoping to upgrade their own starting pitching.
Profar and Olt have received extensive media attention in recent days because of Rangers’ trade speculation. The Angels surrendered blue-chip prospects to land Greinke.
Profar and Olt are not solely prospects. They are considered blue-chippers and potential difference makers. Profar was No. 2 on Baseball America’s Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects List while Olt was No. 11.
The 19-year-old Profar was signed as an international free agent out of Curacao in 2009. He led Curacao to the Little League World Series in 2004 and 2005 and is athletic enough to have drawn interest from major league teams as a pitcher.
The Rangers kept him at shortstop, and he was named MiLB.com’s 2011 Class A Best Hitter of the Year. Profar was also a Futures Game participant this summer. At Double-A Frisco, he is batting .290 with 13 home runs, 54 RBI, 11 stolen bases and a .851 OPS.
Profar proficiently plays shortstop and second base. The Rangers are set at those positions with Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler, but by next season Profar could leave the already loaded Rangers with no choice but to call him up.
A first round selection out of the University of Connecticut in 2010, Olt is a third baseman with power. At Double-A Frisco, the 23-year-old right-handed hitter has 27 home runs, 78 RBI and a .980 OPS.
With Profar and Olt, an already potent Rangers lineup would be even more dangerous, especially if the team can move Olt, or perhaps Adrian Beltre or Kinsler, to first base or DH.