Rangers send top prospect Mike Olt to Triple-A

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For many and probably even most teams a 24-year-old prospect as good as Mike Olt would be set for an everyday role, but the Rangers’ third base and corner outfield depth means he’s headed back to the minors.

Today the Rangers assigned Olt to Triple-A, which he skipped in jumping from Double-A to the majors last August. Olt did hit .288 with 28 homers and a .977 OPS in 95 games at Double-A, but Adrian Beltre is blocking him at third base, David Murphy and Nelson Cruz are blocking him in the outfield, and the Rangers smartly don’t want him wasting away on the bench when he could be playing regularly at Triple-A.

Olt, who hit just .152 in his 16-game debut last year, ranks 22nd on Baseball America‘s annual list of MLB’s top prospects.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).