As every MLB team is preparing for Spring Training, every MLB fan is getting excited for what the season may hold for their favorite team. While fans are primarily focused on which players can help their team win in the here and now, there is also another side to Spring Training in baseball—a side that only the most diehard fans really think about. That side of Spring Training is discovering which players can help in the future.
The Texas Rangers have hopes of a World Series title in 2014, but the club also has aspirations of being a contender for many years to come. That is why Rangers fans will see some new young faces during Spring Training. One of those fresh faces will be second baseman Rougned Odor.
Odor is only 20-years old and is no real threat to make the big league club. However, that does not mean he isn’t an important piece of the future. Odor was signed by Texas as an international free agent in 2011 and has been moving his way up through the Rangers’ farm system ever since. Last season, he split time between Class A Myrtle Beach and Double A Frisco with a .305 batting average while accumulating 41 doubles, six triples, 11 home runs and 78 RBIs.
Texas already has a young talented middle infield duo with Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. So where does that leave Odor? Since Odor is only 20, it is possible he could learn a new position while in the Minors. If he does stay at second base, it gives the Rangers options down the road. They could trade Odor or trade either Andrus or Profar.
While Texas fans should be excited about players like Andrus, Prince Fielder, Shin Soo Choo and Adrian Beltre, this spring they should also make time to watch Rougned Odor. He might not help the Rangers win the World Series in 2014, but he might play a major role on a Rangers’ World Series team in the future.