In a season-ending countdown, we'll weigh in on some of the pleasant surprises for the Rangers in what was arguably the most disappointing season in franchise history.
No. 1: Rougned Odor, 2B
2014 stats: .259 batting average, .297 on-base percentage, 14 doubles, 7 triples, 9 home runs, 48 RBIs, 71 strikeouts, 17 walks, .981 fielding percentage in 114 games
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It was by pure chance that Odor even sniffed the big leagues this year. Jurickson Profar was supposed to be the Rangers' second baseman for the next two decades, but now that title might belong to Odor, the 20-year-old Venezuelan, who came up in May after it was determined that two veterans, Donnie Murphy and Josh Wilson, weren't getting the job done.
Odor had his warts, as to be expected for a 20-year-old rushed to the bigs who should've been at Double-A Frisco all season. He never saw a pitch he didn't like, swung and missed way too often and is still learning how to be a baserunner, as evidenced by his 4-for-11 clip on stolen base attempts.
But Odor also showed a tremendous amount of swagger and never looked like the game was too big for him. Perhaps the most promising thing about his season was in August when it looked like he was hitting the customary rookie wall and saw his production dip dramatically before getting on another hot streak to close the season in September.
Who knows what the Rangers' plans at second base are for 2015, but Odor put himself in position of it being his job to lose, which is pretty remarkable considering Profar's standing in the organization just a year ago.