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Rougned Odor, 2014 Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers' carousel of depth in the middle infield is pretty remarkable, and it's been one of the few bright spots of an injury-filled 2014 season, which included, you guessed it, one of those middle fielders.
The Rangers shipped Ian Kinsler to Detroit in November with the thought that 21-year-old uber prospect Jurickson Profar would assume the everyday second baseman job for the Rangers after toiling through his first season in the bigs as a utility man at age 20 — never a good recipe.
That thought didn't last long as Profar hurt his shoulder in spring training and has since re-injured it on a rehab assignment and basically said he doesn't expect to play in 2014, meaning it's a lost season for the still-growing prospect.
That gave way to two more growing prospects in Luis Sardinas and Rougned Odor, who have both fared well in their first swim through the bigs, which came far earlier than anyone could've expected.
Odor, 20, started the season 0-for-14 against left-handed pitchers and had relegated himself to platoon duty with Sardinas at second base, but since then, he's started to pick it up against southpaws and is .500 in his last 12 at-bats against them, leading Rangers manager Ron Washington to hint at the fact that Odor could be the team's everyday second baseman from here on out.
“We’ve got to find out if he can handle it,” Washington told reporters in Oakland. “As long as I don’t feel he needs a day off, it doesn’t matter who’s pitching. So far, he’s been handling everybody.”
If Odor can handle it like he has so far this season, it'd be a huge break for the Rangers who could either give him Profar's job moving forward, or give them some serious trade bait who would have proven himself at the big-league level, unlike Profar.