Mike Olt was once considered such a prospect that the Texas Rangers wouldn't include him in a deadline deal in 2012.
His stock fell after a concussion and vision problems during the 2012-13 offseason ruined any chance he had to make the Rangers' 25-man roster and so Texas was happy to send him to the Cubs in the Matt Garza deal. That trade has already produced big-league dividends in Neil Ramirez and Justin Grimm and with C.J. Edwards maybe a year away from the majors, even if Olt never makes it, the swap is enormously in the Cubs' favor.
With Luis Valbuena now traded, Olt will have a chance in spring training to show that he can handle third base well enough, at least, to play the position until Kris Bryant is recalled. Jed Hoyer said he'll get that chance:
Hoyer said Valbuena deal is "independent" of Bryant. He mentions Olt, La Stella, Alcantara to play 3rd. "Not going to speed up that clock"— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) January 19, 2015
Olt struck out way too much in his half-year with the Cubs in 2014: 100 strikeouts in 225 at-bats, an similar rate to Javier Baez in about the same playing time (95 K, 213 AB). Both of these players will have to improve on that to stick in the big leagues. Olt hit more homers than Baez (12, to 9) and drew enough walks (25) to turn a horrid batting average (.160) into an on-base percentage (.248) that gives at least some hope that he could be a serviceable big-league player if he could just stop striking out so much.
That's about Olt. Now, about uniform No. 30, which Olt wore in 2014: Jason Motte, who wore No. 30 from 2010-14 with the Cardinals, was seen at the Cubs Convention wearing a Cubs jersey with that number. I'd say that if Motte wants it, it's his and Olt will have to change numbers. We'll find out soon -- 30 days from now, or less. I hope to have a complete numerical spring-training roster here by the end of January.