We continue our ranking of the Top 10 Texas Rangers with a look at their starting second baseman.
No. 9: Rougned Odor
2014 Stats: 114 games, 386 AB, 100 H, .259/.297/.402
2015 Projected stats: 332 AB, .252/.292/.391, WAR 0.7
AL West rank: The AL West is star-studded at second base with Robinson Cano in Seattle and rising talent Jose Altuve in Houston. Veteran Ben Zobrist (Oakland) can't be ignored and Josh Rutledge (Los Angeles Angels) hit .269 in 105 games with Colorado last season. Odor fits with Rutledge and might be even better than he is. Is Odor on Cano's level? Nope. Altuve's? Not yet. But Odor's stock is rising.
Outlook: Odor took the second baseman’s job early in the 2014 season and never came close to losing it afterward. He was the best rookie on the team and his power surprised some in the organization with his .698 OPS. He wasn’t afraid of the big leagues and learned from playing next to Elvis Andrus and getting expert advice from Adrian Beltre to improve his fielding. The key for Odor is how he handles spring training with Jurickson Profar expected return from a torn muscle in his shoulder. The competition at second base will be interesting, though Profar is expected to start the season in Triple-A. Odor’s sophomore season is going to be watched closely because of Profar’s return and excellent depth in the farm system. Odor is the favorite to become the starting second baseman and his commitment to the Rangers' offseason program in Arlington instead of playing extensive time in winter ball was a positive step in his development.
Projections from Steamer Projections, via Fan Graphs.