Before the Texas Rangers decided to call up Joey Gallo, the biggest power-hitting prospect in all of baseball, on Monday to replace the injured Adrian Beltre on the active roster, the team discussed the possibility of recalling demoted second baseman Rougned Odor after a recent run in Round Rock where it seems he's rediscovered what made him a welcomed surprise in the awful 2014 season.
Odor came out of nowhere in 2014 to become the youngest everyday player in baseball and hit at a respectable clip of .259 with nearly 10 homers, nearly 10 triples and 48 RBIs. What was disguised a bit at that point was his awful understanding of the strike zone. That deficiency in Odor's game was not missed by big-league pitchers this year, and they pretty much figured out they didn't have to throw him strikes.
What resulted was a horrendous start to the 2015 season from Odor, who hit .144 in 29 games with 25 strikeouts and seven walks. That led to Odor being sent down to Triple-A Round Rock to refine his game and learn how to be a big-league hitter, something he had to do on the fly last year with a mixed bag of results.
It would've made great sense for the Rangers to recall Odor on Monday, let him play second base and then have Adam Rosales and rookie Hanser Alberto split time at this base for the projected three weeks Beltre spends on the disabled list. But the Rangers made an understandable decision in leaving Odor down to continue his progress instead of bringing him back up and watching him get back into bad habits against superior pitching.
“He’s making progress on both sides of the ball,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told reporters on Monday. “With a guy who has struggled, you don’t want to go get him until he’s ready to come back to stay. This allows him to keep working on his development.”