Texas Rangers: Rougned Odor shows off true potential in 5-0 win over Cleveland
By Travis Koch
Texas Rangers Rougned Odor went 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBI on Sunday. Why Texas can expect such a performance to occur more frequently from Odor…
Rougned Odor’s play has gone from disastrous to inspirational in a very short time. His poor start to 2018 was disrupted by a hamstring injury which held him out of the Texas Rangers lineup for about a month. He took off right where he left off once returning from injury, hitting .203 with a .225 OBP in May. Since then, he has been outstanding.
In June, Odor hit .259 with a .354 OBP and nine walks. Thus far in July, he has hit .327 with a .417 OBP and five walks. Oh, and he’s struck out just 40 times in 159 plate appearances between June and July. That’s incredible for a guy who averaged 27 strikeouts per month in 2017.
Rougned Odor put it all together for the Texas Rangers during Sunday afternoon’s victory over the Cleveland Indians. Odor went 3-for-3 with 3 RBI, a home run, a stolen base and a sac fly. Is there such thing as a more versatile day? He led the Rangers to a win over a very tough opponent, and over a very tough opposing pitcher in Mike Clevinger.
I could ramble on and on about Odor’s remarkable turnaround. The adjustments that he has made in the middle of a MLB season should be constantly applauded. He has gone from free-swinging to disciplined; all or nothing to base hit machine; erratic to under control. Aside from Shin-Soo Choo, Rougned Odor has been the Texas Rangers best hitter over the last two months.
The best part is Odor’s adjustments seem permanent. He seems to have adjusted just as much mentally as he has physically. And it’s not only at the plate. Odor has been very reliable on defense and he has been much more successful in his stolen base attempts over the last month.
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It’s never really been a question of talent with Rougned Odor. Rather, it’s been a question of intelligence. In no way am I implying Odor is not intelligent, but the best players in the game have an incredible understanding of the game.
Take Mike Trout and Joey Votto as examples. Each has found great individual success through selective hitting and hard contact. Trout and Votto pick their zones and make pitchers pay each time a ball enters their selected zone. They aim for line drives and take joy when one of their line drives happens to surpass the fence.
Trout nor Votto should be the bar set for Rougned Odor. With that said, the more any player hits like those two, the better that player is going to be. Odor has hit similarly to them over the last month. Hopefully the Texas Rangers second baseman can continue on his current trend. If he can learn to mix power into his newfound plate approach, we’re looking at a future .300 hitter with 30+ home run capability.
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Yes, that’s a bit ambitious given the fact that his MLB status was in question not even 60 days ago. But that’s the kind of raw talent Rougned Odor possesses. At the end of the day, there is a reason the Rangers signed him to a healthy contract at the age of 23 and there is a reason they refuse to forfeit his position and playing time. His performance from Sunday afternoon proves exactly what kind of impact player he can be.