He’s the new kid with the big ears, the funny name, and an attitude for the game that makes Rangers baseball fun to watch these days. I’m not here to proclaim him rookie of the year material, although “Roogie of the Year” could have a ring to it. This is simply to show appreciation for the path he’s taken to this point in his career.
As of a year ago, the biggest thing on young Odor’s mind was his role in that night’s Myrtle Beach game and maybe whether he’d end up traded and on a new squad by the 31st of July. Fortunately for him, and us (if we’re honest), his new team was simply a level higher in the Texas system, where he went on to maintain his impressive numbers on the season. In fact, here’s a glimpse at how well his whole 2013 went, and you can see the numbers point to what looks like a fairly seamless transition between levels.
When Spring Training came to a close, and starting 2B Jurickson Profar was sent to the DL with shoulder issues, the speculation immediately turned to when, not if, Odor would see the big leagues. Jon Daniels said that he would not entertain that thought at the time and wanted Odor to start where he left off in Frisco, and rightly so. The longer answer came out a bit later, with multiple club officials then saying that they would consider promoting Odor if he looked good after a certain point in Frisco. That certain point was after 32 games/138 plate appearances. Here’s where he stood the day before his promotion:
He was in the middle of an offensive uptick, after wading through the ups and downs of a slow start to the season. Considering this, his promotion was warranted, even if it was simply in the name of “let’s see what we have in this young man” at the time.
In what we’ve seen so far, what the Rangers have in this young man is a second baseman who is still learning the ropes of big league ball, but is ready and eager to take it all in and press on for his club. We’ve seen the silly, as in the single night when he gets his first hit, first HR, and manages to lose a hopping line drive in his jersey. We’ve seen the tough times, when he was struggling to lay off and work walks, which is something that may improve as he adjusts or may just be a small bugaboo to accept as a simple part of who Odor is at the plate. We’ve also seen the web gems, the extra base hits and the speed on the bases, the home runs, and the simple eagerness and positivity that seems to emanate from him each game. In case you’re wondering how he’s looking so far, here are his pertinent figures so far:
It’s been an odd 355+ days for Rougned Odor, but he has been so much fun to see in that span. He’s come back from the ASG break ready to go, and had some impressive play against Toronto and New York. It would seem that Jon Daniels & Co. are hard pressed to trade away a natural second baseman with the adaptive skills Odor has already shown and the room for constant improvement he’s shown so far in this new challenge. The debate will certainly rage on between him, Profar, and Andrus; but, in the meantime, let’s keep enjoying seeing him perform, grow, and learn on this stage that most of us have daily visual access to.