With the high number of injuries experienced by the Texas Rangers in 2014, players that may have needed more seasoning in the minors were getting called up and expected to perform. One of the injuries that hurt fans the most was the season-ending injury to top prospect Jurickson Profar. Profar was supposed to come in and play second base to complete the infield of Prince Fielder, Elvis Andrus, and Adrian Beltre.
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When Profar went down, the Rangers scrambled to fill the second base spot. Over the 162 game season the team played seven different players overall and four that played double digit games. Donnie Murphy, Luis Sardinas, and Josh Wilson were all used at the position but did not show enough to be the long-term solution. Rougned Odor played more games at second than anybody else with 108 games and over 400 plate appearances. Odor hit .259/.296/.405 with 30 extra base hits when playing second base.
Entering 2015, and after another Profar injury, Odor had high expectations for what he could do with a full season. What ended up happening was Odor struggled out of the gates much like the rest of the team. In 21 games across April and March, Odor hit just .147/.284/.235 with four extra base hits in 81 plate appearances. Things started off even worse in May when he hit .136/.136/.227 in 22 plate appearances over his eight games.
Odor was eventually sent down on May 11 to the Round Rock Express to try to restart his swing. Odor played in 30 games for the express and hit .352/.426/.639 with five home runs. Since he left, the Rangers struggled to find a suitable replacement as they triedHanser Alberto
, andAdam Rosales
. With the struggles to find a second baseman and Odor’s success, it started to become clear that Odor was ready for a return.
Odor was called up and made his first start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 15, going 3-for-3 with two runs batted in. He has played in 14 games since he returned, hitting .391/.453/.587 with two home runs and nine runs batted in. For the season he is now hitting .228/.321/.353 with 10 extra base hits. He has a Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) of .267 which is below average for his career so with an increase in his BABIP could see a big jump in his average.
The team has been struggling but performances like Odor’s will help get this team back in a position to take over the Houston Astros as the leader in the American League West. Odor is here to stay this time although his exact position in the order remains in question. When Delino DeShields Jr. returns he should take back over the leadoff spot and Odor should slide back into the second spot. With DeShields and Odor at the top of order, the middle-of-the-order bats of Mitch Moreland, Fielder, Beltre, and Josh Hamilton will help this team back scoring runs.