Rougned Odor might finally be turning it around. He hit a mammoth 447-foot home run in the top of the second to put the Rangers up temporarily. He singled in the sixth. He even got on by getting hit with a pitch.
With that 2-for-3 performance, Odor’s batting average finally peeked above .240 and his OPS got over .700. He hasn’t seen either of those in a long time—since April 16 of 2017, in fact.
For the longest time, Odor has been lost at the plate and a black hole in the lineup.
A rare blend of cockiness and failure, Odor would go to the plate with swagger and intensity, and walk back to the dugout with another strikeout on pitches that were nowhere close. He exhibited no discipline whatsoever.
His three outs a night meant the Rangers were giving away an inning every time he was in the lineup.
A slump is temporary. What Odor was carting around was more of a carcass. A promising career dying by the at-bat. If you’re not good, that’s not slumping. That’s being not good.
Odor had to have felt the writing on the wall. Jurickson Profar was ready to step in and take his place. So was Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Really, pretty much anyone with a glove and a jock strap was a better option than Odor.
Where last season he copped the thick-headed attitude that he wasn’t going to change his approach and he wasn’t going to ask for help, this year humility kicked in. He seemed to accept the fact that there is little need for a light-hitting middle infielder with no power who can’t play defense.
He went to work with the coaching staff to find himself. What he has found so far is working.
In April, his slash line was .206/.300/.565 (AVG/OBP/OPS) with no home runs and four RBIs.
In May, .203/225/544. (It’s really hard to be worse than this.)
Then the new and improved Rougned Odor showed up.
July: .323/.432/1.013. (You can’t get much better than that.)
Odor’s defense has dramatically improved as well.
The Rangers made a long-term investment in Odor that looked like it was going to go bust.
It took Odor making an investment in himself to start paying dividends.
Bartolo Colon (5-6, 4.65) vs. Chris Sale (9-4, 2.36)
Game time: 6:10