Texas Rangers: Three reasons there is still hope for Rougned Odor

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ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 26: Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers celebrates a homerun in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 26, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 26: Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers celebrates a homerun in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 26, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 12: Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers homers in the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 12, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 12: Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers homers in the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 12, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

Average Exit Velocity

Taking a look at Odor’s career, his exit velocity on balls put in play has had its ups and downs. Obviously, we’ve seen his struggles, but there is a reason to have hope. In 2019, Odor had the highest exit velocity on fastballs that he has had since 2016. During the 2016 season, his average exit velocity on heaters was 90.6 mph, compared to 2019 where it topped out at 90.2 mph. Well, that’s just fastballs, what about breaking stuff and offspeed pitches? On breaking balls over his career, Odor has consistently increased his exit velocity. In 2019, he finished with an average of 89.7 mph off the bat on breaking pitches, again a career high.

On offspeed pitches, Odor had a drastic dip from the 2017 to 2018 seasons. In 2017, an 86.9 average exit velocity compared to 2018 in which he had an exit velocity of 83.4 mph. That doesn’t seem drastic until you look back on his debut when his average exit velocity was sitting right around 88.4 mph. As far as 2019 is concerned, he brought his average exit velocity on offspeed back up to 87 mph. What does this tell us? It tells us that Odor is beginning to read and barrel up all variations of pitches. He continues to make hard contact, and in my opinion, because of the shift he is being robbed of hits. Now, the shift is not the only thing to blame. Odor needs to be a better all around hitter and use the whole ballpark instead of just the right side. But his improving exit velocity could be a sign that he’s trending in the right direction.

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