Myrtle Beach Madmen – Mike Olt and Joe Weiland

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It must be tough being a fan of a Minor League Baseball team, especially at the Single and Double-A levels. Although you do get the joy of having baseball in your city every season, your favorite players will either move up or move on after rather quickly. This past week the Myrtle Beach Pelicans lost Robbie Erlin (the Texas Rangers Number 4 prospect according to Baseball America) to Double-A Frisco.

Rest assured however that Myrtle Beach still has outstanding players to cheer on. Michael Olt 3rd Baseman, and Joseph Wieland Starting Pitcher, have both been dominating the Carolina League.

Let’s start with the third baseman Olt. Mike played in Low-A ball for the 2010 season and skipped Hickory altogether at the beginning of the 2011 season to join Myrtle Beach. He is top ten in the league in batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, on base plus slugging percentage, home runs, and runs batted in. After 47 games he is batting .296/.414/.531 and has an OPS of .945. He is in first place of the Carolina League in OBP and second in OPS. The stats here certainly don’t lie, he needs another challenge.

Olt is a multi-tool player who can bring a ton of talent to any team’s infield. My warning here to the Pelican fans…enjoy him while you have him, his ticket to Frisco is just about ready. Olt is a true offensive threat, and Texas would do well to hold onto him.

Starter Joe Wieland is in a similar situation. The 21 year old has the very best ERA in the CL at 1.53; by comparison the next best era is 1.79. He has also been able to win ballgames this season with a record of 5 and 3. This was after 10 games, 9 of which Joe started, Wieland has the third most innings pitched in the league with 59. The right-hander is also one of only two pitchers in the CL to throw a shutout this season. After Erlin left for Frisco, Joe is now the league leader in WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) at 0.86.

Joseph Wieland after his win Saturday (Photo-Robert Gurganus)

Truly two of the best in the Advanced Single-A ranks, Wieland and Olt are both certainly on the road to the big leagues. These two along with Jurickson Profar, will definitely be in the midst of trade rumors. The Rangers are clearly in need of bullpen help, and have also said that if they can improve the starting pitching they would do that as well. I look for at least one of these three to be traded this season.

-Jonathan