Rougned Odor is showing up to camp with a new hitting philosophy. That’s good. His old hitting philosophy was broken.
He spent all offseason with former catcher Victor Martinez soaking up his knowledge on hitting. Martinez was a five-time All-Star who finished second in MVP voting in 2014 when he hit .335 and led all of baseball with a .409 on-base percentage and a .974 OPS. He retired with a career .295 average. Best of all, he rarely struck out, averaging just 73 a season.
That’s someone to learn from.
The gist of these daily lessons was patience. Especially with two strikes.
When down 0-2, Odor hit .103 last year. As T.R. Sullivan points out, Odor’s “.205 batting average was the lowest in the American League, his .283 on-base percentage was the second lowest, and he was tied for the league league with 178 strikeouts.”
In other words, he really has only one direction to go.
The Rangers badly need an upgrade on offense. Since they couldn’t get much externally, it would be huge if that could come from within.
Odor isn’t going away. So, it would be nice if he stopped being the worst player in baseball.