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Olt, "Mac" honored with April Rangers awards05/12/2011 4:24 PM ET
By Texas Rangers
Arlington, Texas - The Texas Rangers announced today the club's minor league award winners for April. Right-hander Neil Ramirez was named Pitcher of the Month, infielder Mike Olt was named Player of the Month, first baseman Chris McGuiness was named Defender of the Month, and right-hander Ryan Rodebaugh was named Reliever of the Month.
Ramirez, who turns 22 on Wednesday, combined to go 2-1 with a 1.39 ERA (4 ER/26.0 IP) and 34 strikeouts against 9 walks, while holding opponents to a .140 (12-86) average over 5 games/starts with High-A Myrtle Beach and Triple-A Round Rock. Ramirez made just one start with Myrtle Beach, allowing just one hit over 4.2 innings on April 8 vs. Wilmington before a promotion to Round Rock on April 13. The Virginia Beach native tossed 6.0 shutout innings in his Triple-A debut on April 13 vs. Omaha and finished out the month with the Express, going 2-1, 1.69 (4 ER/21.1 IP) over 4 starts. The right-hander currently ranks among the Pacific Coast League leaders in opponent batting average (5th, .198), wins (T5th, 3), strikeouts (T11th, 32), and ERA (13th, 3.30). Ramirez was selected in the supplemental first round (44th overall) of the 2007 June draft and signed by Russ Ardolina.
Olt, 22, batted .317 (26-82) with 15 walks, 9 doubles, 3 home runs and 16 RBI in 22 games with High-A Myrtle Beach. The right-handed batter and thrower opened the season by hitting safely in 10 of his first 11 games, earning Carolina League Player of the Week honors for April 7-17. Olt, who reached Myrtle Beach after just 69 games with Spokane last summer, led the Pelicans in home runs and walks, while collecting the 2nd-most RBI during the month. Olt currently ranks among the Carolina League leaders in batting (11th, .297), doubles (T5th, 9), home runs (T11th, 4), RBI (9th, 19), and walks (T2nd, 20). The University of Connecticut product was selected in the supplemental first round (49th overall) of the 2010 June draft and signed by Jay Heafner.
McGuiness, 23, started 15 games at first base during the month of April without committing an error. With a 1.000 fielding percentage (0 E/163 TC) in 18 games overall this season, the Citadel product is tied for the highest fielding percentage in the Carolina League. McGuiness also contributed at the plate in April, batting .305 (18-59) with 10 walks, 5 doubles, and 7 RBI. The Charleston, South Carolina native was acquired from Boston, along with two other players, in exchange for Jarrod Saltalamacchia on July 31, 2010.
Rodebaugh, 22, did not allow a run over 14.0 innings and 8 relief outings, while holding opposing batters to a .212 (11-52) average in the month of April. The Kennesaw State product recorded 20 strikeouts against just 4 walks, including a career-high 5 strikeouts on April 27 vs. Augusta. South Atlantic League hitters have batted just .150 (3-20) with runners in scoring position and .182 (2-11) with runners in scoring position with 2 outs against Rodebaugh this season. Rodebaugh was selected in the 15th round of the 2010 June draft and signed by Ryan Coe.