Rougned Odor absolutely
did not play well stunk last year. It was truly as bad as the smell pun is overused. He ended the season tip-toeing the Mendoza line and flirting with all of the wrong records. The Rangers team performance naturally followed suit. Their success was saddled on the young Venezuelan, and he clearly knew it. The Rangers Front Office knew it, too. That’s why when the ink dried on his six-year extension before last season, Jon Daniels hands were tied. There would be no AAA hiatus to get the bat-head on straight. No platoon with the hobby-horse Jurickson Profar. No way he wasn’t going to swing at every single pitch, and swing he did. The only approach he had at the plate was aggressive and opposing pitchers quickly noticed. They hung carrots for Odor and he happily chomped at the bit with eyes as big as dinner plates while they ate his lunch.
But no more. Spring has sprung and Odor has his spurs dug in the dirt. 2017’s thirty Home Run total is just a box on BaseballReference. His approach thus far in Surprise, AZ has been exactly that, a surprise. A welcomed, needed, and prayed for surprise. Averaging an astounding Walk per every two Plate Appearances, Odor appears to have reined in his unbridled penchant for turning his Louisville Slugger into a TaylorMade. (In his defense…the Ballpark in Arlington did have unintentional yet still awful putting greens in the outfield for a majority of the season.) Granted, this is a small sample size to judge. Clearly, the arms toeing rubber sixty feet and six inches away are still rounding into form. Nevermind that the upcoming Opening Day is still 162 full games away from Wins that actually matter.
This is what Manager Jeff Banister meant when he recently told Jared Sandler on KRLD 105.3 The Fan, “We want Odor Productive/Aggressive.”
This is just what we hoped to see.
This is progress.
This is 2018.