Rangers: Rougned Odor Is ALDS MVP Already


Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor is a one-man wrecking crew against the favored Toronto Blue Jays in the ALDS.

The American League Division Series between the Texas Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays may not be halfway complete yet, but there’s really no question as to who the most valuable player is.

Second baseman Rougned Odor, also known as ‘Roogie’ and ‘Stinky,’ is just about stealing the entire show in this 2015 postseason and his team hasn’t even played at home yet. You can call him whatever you choose, but I think I prefer the term ‘awesome.’

The Rangers have scored a total of 11 runs in their two playoff games at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Odor has had a hand in 6 of them.

Think about that.

These are MVP numbers after just two games, and it says nothing for Odor’s defensive capabilities.

This is coming from a second basemen who’s generally hitting in the bottom third of the Texas batting order. This kid just arrived in the majors a year ago and won’t turn 22 years old until next February. Odor has yet to play an entire season with the Rangers, although that formality will officially die next season if he stays healthy.

Watching Odor play second base for the Rangers is a thing of beauty. His 5’11” and 190lbs frame gives him the perfect build for this position and his arm is more than adequate. His reaction to anything hit is way is impeccable and his role in the critical and frequent 6-4-3 double play is outstanding – you won’t see many other second basemen getting rid of the ball more quickly while also displaying near-perfect accuracy.

Having said that, it’s Odor’s impact at the plate and on the base paths that clearly sets him apart from virtually all other infielders, and that’s saying a whole lot.

Odor is playing in his first postseason series, yet it really seems like this young Venezuelan has been here before. Odor is creating more havoc than anyone else in the Rangers lineup. The way he handles himself on the base paths rivals the game-changing ability of center fielder Delino DeShields.

Is it fair that the Rangers have both of these spark plugs?

Putting the ball in play has been a specialty for Odor during the latter half of the season. He has but two hits during the ALDS, but one was a line-drive missile over the right field wall in Game 1 that took just a few seconds to leave the playing field.

Nothing particularly gaudy about two hits, but remember that Odor was hit by pitches in his first two postseason plate appearances. Odor has remarkable power for his size, and when he gets on base, good things are happening at an alarming clip.

Odor reminds me of that kid you played baseball with that was just older, bigger, stronger and faster than everybody else on the team. Aside from having power, the kid could steal bases and completely frustrate other kids into making mistakes and losing composure.

The difference here is that Odor is doing the same thing, but we’re talking about Major League Baseball, not Pony League Baseball.

Odor’s two runs scored in Game 2 were both electrifying as they went down, but those opportunities were created mainly by Odor himself.

His first run scored came after tagging up on a shallow fly ball hit to Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar. Most runners wouldn’t have tried to score, but Odor took off for home plate. As Pillar’s throw was right on the money for a play at the plate, Odor slid head-first passed catcher Russell Martin and was only safe because he pulled his left arm back towards his feet, thus causing the tag to be late.

That first score was only possible because Odor had advanced to third base from first base on a play that never even left the infield.

Odor’s second score, which ended up being the winning margin for the Rangers, came on Hanser Alberto‘s 2-out single to center where Pillar was again charging on the play. Odor had started from second base this time and was still able to slide around Martin on another close play.

No, not everyone does what Odor does just about everyday he plays.

If Odor’s play continues like this, it’s quite possible that we might actually start referring to him as the MVP of another big series in just a few weeks.

Next: Rangers Win Again, Lead ALDS 2-0 Over Toronto

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