Set to make $3.3 million in 2018, and $49.5 million over the next 6 years, the curious case of Rougned Odor is one the Rangers organization can’t afford to overlook.
Last season, the Rangers’ 24-year-old second baseman was one of three Texas hitters in the bottom 20 of strikeouts in the MLB with 162 Ks and he struggled to hit above .200 for much of the season.
It doesn’t take an avid baseball fan to see that those two stats don’t result in a good season and are a waste of a multi-million-dollar deal, even with 30 home runs mixed in-between.
Not to mention, Odor has also led the American League second basemen three straight years in errors defensively, and saw his WAR drop from 2.4 to -0.2 over the past two seasons. A mediocre stat line for what could be an All-Star talent, and one that is frustrating to Texas fans everywhere.
However, the Rangers are two games into Spring Training and a spark of hope has been spotted in the Arizona desert.
In 2017, Odor struggled considerably at chasing bad pitches outside the zone and having a poor approach at the plate.
Sunday afternoon, Rangers’ broadcaster Jared Sandler tweeted a stat from BaseballSavant.com that stated that in 48 times at a 3-1 count in 2017, Rougie swung 41 times (85.42%). That was the second highest average in the majors and resulted in multiple squandered at-bats over the season.
But fast-forwarding to spring training, Odor has already been able to show a considerable effort at the plate and self-control at not chasing pitches.
In the three games that Odor has played in Spring Training (Through Tues. Feb 27th), he has been to the plate eight times, and has 3 BB, 2 H, and a RBI.
Improvement right?…Right. But it gets better.
Throughout the three times that Odor reached via the walk, two of the three were from taking a pitch on 3-1. Already 33% to his entire total of takes from the entire 2017 regular season.
Spring Training is not about wins and losses, it’s about taking little positives to work on through the time in Surprise. And seeing the effort that Odor is showing may or may not last into the regular season, but it sure is a good start.
For more Texas Rangers coverage follow the Dallas Sports Fanatic on Twitter at @Dallas_Fanatic and my personal Twitter at @Kyle_Youmans.
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