FRISCO, Texas – As the baseball world that is the July trading deadline spins around them at a dizzying pace, Texas Rangers prospects Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt seem remarkably calm.
But then again, what else can the club’s two hottest trading commodities do about their future other than continue to play for the Frisco Roughriders every night?
“I’m just concentrating on baseball,” said Profar, Frisco’s 19-year-old shortstop and the No. 2 prospect on Baseball America’s mid-season prospects list. “All I care about is the things I can control.”
That’s the same approach Olt is taking, although both names have come up several times this month as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. If the Rangers decide to make a big move before the deadline, it could come with either Profar or Olt, Frisco’s power-hitting third baseman, attached to the deal.
Olt, the No. 11 prospect on the Baseball America list, knows that’s just part of the game.
“It’s all rumors,” said Olt. “I’ve dealt with rumors before. It makes no sense for me to look at. Texas has a plan and I’m sure they’re not going to share their plan. The Rangers are going to do whatever they need to do to win. So I don’t worry about that.”
Olt said he hears from friends when his name comes up in trade talks but he tries to block it out. Profar said he didn’t even know his name has come up in trade talks and that no one he talks to has mentioned trades.
Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said earlier this month that he hopes the Rangers aren’t involved in any deadline deals. The pitching staff is getting healthier and the need for a starting pitcher is debatable.
What isn’t debatable is that both Profar and Olt have had breakout seasons. Profar, who in in his first year at Double A, has 10 homers and 43 RBIs and was a member of the world team in the Futures Game. Olt, who like Profar spent last season at Class A Myrtle Beach, leads the Roughriders in home runs and RBIs and was a member of the United States team in the Futures Game.
Both players are blocked at the big-league level in Texas with Elvis Andrus at short for the Rangers and Adrian Beltre at third. But Profar has started 12 games at second for Frisco and one at third. Olt has played eight at first base and one in right field.
Both players understand the organization’s logic in having them play other spots.
“I’m excited that they’re letting me play at those positions,” said Olt, whose biggest issue at first has been the footwork. “That will make me more versatile. I think that will help me get to the big leagues, playing more than one position.”
Profar said he doesn’t mind play other spots either because it gives him a better feel for them. At 19, he also knows he has time on his side.
“I know they’re a good team over there and they’re not going anywhere,” Profar said. “You never know what’s going to happen. I just have to be patient over there. I have to be there some time.”