When the 2014 season began, before the Texas Rangers went from perennial pennant contender to MLB cellar dweller in the blink of an eye, Jurickson Profar was supposed to be the Rangers' everyday second baseman after they dealt away Ian Kinsler for slugging first baseman Prince Fielder.
Soon after, Fielder was out for the season, and so was Profar, along with a long list of other everyday players which has led the Rangers to the position of trying to avoid a 100-loss season.
In Profar's absence, which is really unfortunate as the 21-year-old former top prospect lost an entire year of development, the door has been opened for another young prospect in Rougned Odor.
The 20-year-old was supposed to spend the season in Double-A Frisco, and instead was called up in May after it was clear the Josh Wilson/Donnie Murphy second base platoon wasn't going to cut it. Odor proceeded to get off to a monster start before hitting the expected wall any 20-year-old not named Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, on his first swim through the majors, would.
As August came to a close, there was valid concern that maybe Odor wasn't all that. He has no plate discipline, which isn't unheard of for a kid his age, and despite having speed he is a very unpolished base-stealer. Maybe once guys got a book on him, he was toast, and there's always a fear a young kid can get ruined by being thrown to the wolves too soon.
But over the last 16 games, Odor has helped eliminate those worries and it now seems Odor is on the verge of being a star.
In that time, Odor has picked things up again, hitting .333 with a .390 on-base percentage, two homers and 10 RBIs to go with three doubles and a triple. His RBI double put Texas on the board on Wednesday night to tie the game 1-1 in the ninth before the A's wheels came flying off. He has no fear and seems to always come up with big hits in key spots.
The obvious question here is what the Rangers will do with this new version of a middle infield logjam with Profar, Odor, Elvis Andrus and even Luis Sardinas plugging up those two spots. Both Odor and Profar are natural second basemen, and really only Profar could play shortstop if Andrus is shipped away.
At this point, and this is crazy to say, Odor has done a lot more on the big-league level than the once-can't miss Profar, who's still only 21 years old. Something is going to happen with that group this winter, it just remains to be seen what.