Most 20 year old aspiring baseball players are playing their games in college or on minor league fields. They are honing their skills so that they can live out their big league dreams. But Rougned Odor is not like most 20 year olds. With the Rangers offense looking for a spark, the 20 twenty year old prospect has earned a promotion much sooner than anyone ever expected. He will be learning on the fly as he looks to become an impact player at the major league level.
Initially, the Rangers looked to be set at the second base position for a long time, but this off-season things changed. Not only did they lose incumbent second baseman Ian Kinsler in a trade for Prince Fielder, but they also lost all-world prospect Jurkison Profar for the season. These losses have given the club a need for someone to take the reins at second.
While he is extremely young, Odor has all of the skills to be a player that can cement himself in the lineup for both the present and the future. Before the year began MLB.com ranked him as the best second base prospect in all of the minor leagues, and Baseball Prospectus tabbed him as the 39th best overall prospect. Even though he has always played years below his competition in the minors and now major leagues, the Venezuelan infielder has continued to perform. Through his minor league career, which started at the age of 17, Odor is a .280 hitter. Over the past two season he has also slugged double digit homers even though he is just 170 pounds. With growth, these numbers can be expected to increase even more. In the field he has remained steady, limiting his errors while racking up a career .962 fielding percentage.
After playing in just 32 minor league games this season he has been given a shot in Texas. Although he has batted just .208 through his first eight games, Odor has not fallen under pressure. Already he has slugged his first homerun and delivered five hits. While he remains a work in progress, his minor league track record has shown that he can develop while playing years below his competition. He may hit bumps along the way, but at every stop he has proven that he is not the average young ball player.
Statistics Provided by Baseball Reference