If there’s one thing that I’ve never understood, it’s the free pass that some fans and media members give to Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor. He’s an average to below average player. Sure he’ll have his good runs but they’re outweighed by his bad ones. He’s historically been a better second half player which is shown by his career batting average splits of .234/.285/.410 in the first half versus .244/.298/.464. Teams don’t need one-half players. They need someone who is consistent all season long. And are his second half numbers really that much better? 10 point increase in batting average. Okay. Still under .300 in on-base percentage. If you can only manage to get on base less than three times per ten at -bats you are not really doing the team any good.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before after he has one good game: “It looks like he’s finally turning things around”. If there were a drinking game involving him and that phrase I would be walking around drunk like Calamity Jane in “Deadwood”.
Let’s take a look at some more advanced data on Odor. We’ll start with his ISO or “Isolated Power” which Fangraphs defines as a measure of a hitter’s raw power and tells you how often a player hits for extra bases. So, the higher the ISO the more extra base-hits he gets per at-bat. The following is his career ISO data:
One thing that is noticeable is the roller coaster effect leading up to this season’s decline, though it is a small sample size.
Up next is his wOBA or Weighted On Base Average. This stat gives a different value to each type of hit so, for example, a double is not treated the same way as a single because of the run value attached to it. Here is here career wOBA stats:
Just as with the ISO, he had a great first three seasons being at or above league average but has since trended downwards.
The next two stats are more eye opening and really don’t need an explanation. First is the percentage at which he hits infield fly balls. Only once has he been below league average. After that is his insane swing percentage on all-pitches which really highlights a lack of plate discipline.
While he has improved over the past couple of seasons on his swing percentage, he is still above league average and has other areas to work at when it comes to the plate which is evident by his 36.2% K rate compared to a 6.4% walk rate which explains the low .191 OBP this season. If you can’t get on base then you can’t bring in runs.
Yes, we are more likely to see him back in the lineup sooner than later. Would I like to see him become an everyday star-type player? Of course. Do I think it will happen? Not at all. A player in their age 26 season should be heading into their prime years and he is not.
What I would love to see is Isiah Kiner-Falefa play second but he’s doing so well at third that I don’t see that happening this season, especially with Todd Frazier moving over to first in place of Ronald Guzman. If top prospect Josh Jung is ready for 2021 then I say go for it. Until then I’d like to see more Nick Solak, more Danny Santana (when he returns) and more Derek Dietrich at second. But then again I’m not the manager.
At least Odor will always have the Bautista rumble as a career highlight.
Until next time, I’ll see you in the cheap seats…socially distancing six feet away.
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