Thursday, October 12, 2017


Once again showing the fluky nature of the batting average category in fantasy baseball, we present to you the 2017 version of Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor.  Considered almost a sure thing as the next superstar middle infielder coming off a monstrous 2016 at the age of only 22 (33 HR, 88 RBI, 14 SB), Odor was being drafted as high as the third round given the remaining upside to an already potent bat.  What happened next was a haul of numbers that were almost impossible to believe were from the same person in terms of the mostly extreme positives but one giant negative.  As far as the positives were concerned, Odor once again was a power-hitting dynamo who also flashed some speed as he smacked 30 home runs, drove in 75 runs, and stole 14 bases.  Getting a 30/14 split in the home run/steal categories from a second baseman is always gold when it comes to fantasy baseball and again the extreme youth of Odor made it extra special what he was accomplishing.  Unfortunately what caught most of the attention was Odor's hideous .204 batting average that caused much consternation to his owners and it was another reminder this category gets over-emphasized way too much by the fantasy baseball community.  In terms of the number itself, Odor arguably was the most unlucky everyday hitter in the entire game last season as his .224 BABIP is simply hard to believe.  Very rarely does a BABIP go that low and it is especially fluky when you consider guys with good speed like Odor possesses usually can beat the curve to a point.  As a result, Odor's .204 average needs to be COMPLETELY thrown out.  Yes his 24.9 K/9 was ugly but that number went up as the season went along which would tell you the kid was hacking more and more due to having to look at the surface average on a daily basis.  What we must do here is focus on how Odor is still a baby as he turns just 24 in February and already has two 30-homer seasons under his belt.  There will be a sizable average correction coming and when combined with a likely drop in draft position this spring, Odor can turn out to be a mighty value play.
2018 PROJECTION:  .267 32 HR 84 RBI 86 R 11 SB

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