Manny Ramirez – considered to be one of the greatest hitters in the history of the baseball, or one of the sport's biggest steroid cheats, depending on who you ask – is attempting a big league comeback and is currently playing for the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
Round Rock also happens to be home to former UConn standout Mike Olt, who is considered to be the top hitting prospect in the Rangers organization but has also endured a very rough season in the minors so far this year. Olt is only hitting .204 with an OBP of .306 and an ugly walk to strikeout ratio of 29 to 76, not exactly the kind of numbers that get you a call to the big leagues.
Olt did go on a home run tear after he returned from the DL (vision problems), but going into Sunday night's game he was mired in a 1-for-22 slump and looked to be taking another step back. That's when Manny stepped in, according to Todd Wills from ESPNDallas.com.
Ramirez has a reputation for being religious about studying video, so Olt asked him to watch some clips of his swing.
"He saw that I was late and dropping my hands," said Olt, who made his debut with the Rangers last season, playing in 16 games. "We went to the cages and I worked with him."
Olt went on to have a 2-for-3 night, smacking a double and scoring one run to help lead the Express past the Omaha Storm Chasers by a score of 4-0. He's gone 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI since then as well, suggesting that whatever Manny told him to do might be paying off.
The article continues by saying Olt was "floored" that Ramirez offered to help him and that the veteran hitter has been a great fit in the clubhouse since his arrival. It remains to be seen how both players' seasons will go from here, but it seems that despite his reputation, Manny is having a positive influence on his minor league team, which is great.
Here's to hoping Olt can keep going on the right track and make it back to the big leagues by September.
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