A big record about to fall?
Greetings from Arizona, following my first day in the AFL.
I spent the day in Surprise to watch the championship-bound Saguaros host the Phoenix Desert Dogs and while I haven’t seen Salt River yet, that Surprise team is ridiculously stacked. Stay tuned for a series of stories as the week (and even into next week) unfolds.
I had some issues with my flipcam early in the day, but did recover to get one video interview done — I’ll post the entirety of that interview here tomorrow.
For now, though, I want to talk about Mike Olt. The Rangers’ No. 7 prospect played in just 73 games thanks to a broken collarbone during the regular season, so he came to Arizona to make up for lost time. And boy has he (You can watch a video interview with him, courtesy of the AFL, right here).
I saw Olt hit home run No. 13 on Monday. That almost doubles his nearest competitor (7, Robbie Grossman). he’s hit four homers in his last three games. He also leads the league with 40 RBIs, a reason why most think he’ll end up with his name on that MVP Award.
Back in 2005, Brandon Wood broke the Fall League record with 14 homers in 114 at-bats. I covered a bunch of that AFL season and Wood was just insane. Fast foward to now and Olt is one back of Wood, with 13 homers, in just 95 ABs. There might be concern about holes in his swing, but the power — especially showing it here after his partial season in the Class A Advanced Carolina League — is legit.
Of course, he may want to be careful with the homer company he is inadvertently keeping. Wood has never been able to establish himself as a big leaguer. Since his 2005 AFL campaign, three players have reached double-digits in homers: Chip Cannon in 2006 (11), Tyler Flowers (12) in 2008 and Grant Desme in 2009 (11). Cannon won MVP honors in 2006 and is now out of the game. Flowers has seen some big league time, but has also spent much of three seasons in Triple-A. Desme won the MVP of the Fall League as well, then retired to join the priesthood in January 2010.