Rougned Odor has had quite the odoriferous start to his 2015 campaign for the Texas Rangers. Quite frankly, he stunk at the plate, hitting at a .144/.252/.233 clip before being sent down to Round Rock. Obviously, the sweet smell of success was something that Odor has not experienced this season.
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So, puns based on Odor’s last name over, he just has not been the player that the Rangers expected. Based on his production last season, it was expected that he would take the next step in 2015, potentially turning into a double digit home run and stolen base threat while producing at a slightly higher than league average batting line. Instead, Odor fell completely off the cliff.
However, Odor knows exactly what he has been doing wrong. He stated that he was not playing his game, and was swinging at bad pitches, leading to both his decreased production and a loss of confidence. In fact, both he and the Rangers are looking at this demotion as a way to build his confidence back up, as he gets back to being the player both Odor and the team feel he can be.
For all of the expectations placed upon Odor this season, and his relatively solid performance last year, one has to remember that he is still only 21 years old. Odor is actually six years below the league average at the AAA level, a level he had never played at prior to his demotion. Some growing pains were to be expected.
Now, without the pressure of performing for the Texas Rangers at the major league level, Rougned Odor can get back to being himself. He can focus on improving his plate discipline and building his confidence back up without having to try to be a sparkplug for the improving Rangers offense.
Odor will also have the added benefit of having a few veterans to lean upon. Both Josh Hamilton and Mitch Moreland are in the midst of rehab assignments at Round Rock, and could be valuable tutors for Odor as he looks to regain his approach. If anyone knows about the trials and tribulations of high expectations and disappointment, it would be Hamilton. Perhaps having both players as teammates down in AAA, even if it is temporarily, can help expedite the process.
Hopefully, Rougned Odor will be back with the Texas Rangers soon. When he comes back, do not be surprised if we see the Odor we all expected at the start of the year.