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Sunday, April 23, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: ROUGNED ODOR 2B TEXAS RANGERS

When looking up and down the Texas Rangers batting lineup, all you seemingly see are struggled from top-to-bottom.  Whether it is Carlos Gomez, Mike Napoli, or Rougned Odor, the Rangers have had lifeless bats from the start of the year.  In our latest "Crisis Point," we dig in a bit more on Odor who is trying his fantasy baseball owners' patience so far with his underwhelming performance that has him going into Saturday's game with the following numbers:

.194
3 HR
6 R
8 RBI
0 SB

Clearly those numbers fall way short of where the power-hitting second baseman should be and already the e-mails and tweets are flowing in asking what is going on.  Well first off some deep breaths are needed here as we are only THREE weeks into the season and Odor is still just 23-years-old.  Odor has been in the majors since he was 19 and he had little-to-no seasoning a the minor league level to smooth out some flaws in his approach.  Those flaws manifest themselves in an utter lack of patience as Odor's BB/9 rates have not even reached 5.0 in each of his first four years in the majors.  Not getting on base via walks is always an issue when it comes to batting average and that is why Odor so far is just a .261 hitter in his career.  While the batting average is a negative, the terrific from Odor's bat is what really has put him at the forefront of the second baseman hierarchy.  In 2016 Odor exploded there as he smacked 33 home runs and drove in 88 at the age of ONLY 22.  The .271 average as not great but not horrible either.  A .297 BABIP last season also showed that his .271 average was legit and so were the rest of his numbers.  That is truly remarkable power for such a young player who is not a corner infielder or outfielder and that put Odor as a very high-priced item in 2017 fantasy baseball drafts.  Alas the poor start has began some rumbling about whether Odor was a fluke in 2016 which in my humble opinion is ridiculous.

Digging into the early numbers, a few things stands out.  For one thing, Odor is getting ZERO luck on the batted ball as his .196 BABIP would attest.  That is a completely unsustainable number as the mean BABIP is .300.  The hits will soon start falling in and the home runs will go out.  It is guaranteed.  Also don't overlook the fact Odor has speed as he stole 14 bags last season and his help there overcomes any average hit.  Speaking of the average, while Odor's 4.2 BB/9 is horrible, his 18.3 K/9 is an improvement from the 21.4 he had in 2016.  If Odor keeps the K's down as he has so far, again the average will shoot upwards.

When breaking it all down, Rougned Odor is a terrific buy low candidate who you all should be trying to get a hold of now.  The numbers will eventually get where they should and can even go over expectations given the age and upside he still has.  This one is easy.


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