At this point in time, all indications are that Rougned Odor will start the season as the Texas Rangers Opening Day second baseman. Despite struggles throughout the past few years, Texas is still hoping that he can regain the value that led to the club handing him a six-year, $49.5 million extension. The talent is obviously there and it’s rare to find a second baseman with 30-plus home run power. However, the constant ups and downs have wore thin the patience of many Rangers’ fans. Last season, the Rangers stuck with Odor and it started to pay off late with him hitting .261 with a .985 OPS and nine homers in the month of September.
However, unless Odor can show that September wasn’t a fluke, his time as an everyday player may come to a quick end. The Rangers finally have a viable alternative to Odor at second base in Nick Solak, one who has hit well in a small sample size at the Major League level. While the Rangers saw more value in trying to guide Odor out of his struggles in 2019, the club is intending on taking a step forward competitively in 2020 and last year’s performances won’t be accepted.
Second base has the potential to be a make or break position for Texas next year. The offensive talent is there as is Odor’s spotty defensive ability. If he can right the ship, he becomes one of the most important hitters in the Rangers’ lineup. However, it can quickly become a hinderance as it was last year if nobody steps up to cement their place up the middle.