Rougned Odor showed a tremendous ability to not be intimidated by anything as a 20-year-old (the league's youngest player) basically seeing an entire season of play in Major League Baseball last season.
He was out of his element, and would've been best served playing the entire season in Double-A. But he never gave the impression the game was too big for him. He also showed a gritty edge, which the team and fans alike grew to absolutely love.
It's clear Odor is a tightly wound character, but the Rangers would like him to reel in his aggression a tad, especially at the plate, but also in the field.
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"He loves to swing the bat," new Rangers manager Jeff Banister told The Dallas Morning News.
That's the truth.
Odor swung at the first pitch in 179 of his 417 plate appearances last season, which is far too much unless your name is Josh Hamilton and you are in the midst of an MVP season. The Rangers have tried to stress patience to the young second baseman, and so far in spring training, he's shown he's trying to slow it down a little bit, anyway. He's walked twice in 31 plate appearances, compared to walking twice in every 49 plate appearances last season.
“It looks like he’s doing a much better job of controlling the strike zone,” Banister said. “His power is going to sneak up on a few guys.”
The Rangers also want him to slow down in the field. They've noticed many of his mistakes, such as a wide throw to first on a double-play attempt on Thursday night, have come as a result of him rushing himself in the field.
“It’s in his nature that at times he rushes things, but he’s getting better at it,” Rangers bench coach and former third baseman Steve Buechele said.
So yeah, there's some growing and maturing to do for the 21-year-old, but it appears the Rangers have themselves a good one, and it seems like they believe that, too.