Rangers Rougned Odor: Player to Avoid in 2018?

Rougned Odor had a rough 2017 campaign for the Rangers. Should fantasy owners now avoid him or is he a buy-low candidate?

There was a time not too long ago that fantasy owners would salivate at the idea of selecting a second baseman that could mash 30 HR. Rangers’ second baseman, Rougned Odor, has been able to hit that mark the last two seasons. Yet, his .204/75 RBI/.649 OPS line tanked his fantasy value. Is he now a player to avoid?

Rougned Odor’s time in the MLB has been quite interesting. While he is infamous for his on-field actions, Odor remains one of the more frustrating players in the game. No one will question his raw talent, yet his continual stubbornness to change his approach at the plate is concerning.

All fantasy owners, and the Rangers for that matter, knew what Odor brought to the table. His raw power is unmatched at the position, yet he lacks any semblance of plate control. In the minors, he struck out twice to every one walk. In the majors, that has increased steadily, and last season it hit a career-worst rate.

He struck out 5% of the time while generating a paltry 4.9% BB rate.  Odor’s contact rate followed suit, lowering below 76%. Unfortunately, the red flags did not stop there. Last season, Odor could only manage a .145/5 HR/18 RBI/.452 OPS line versus lefties, a troubling sign considering he posted a .269 AVG versus them in 2016.

Looking at his monthly splits, Odor did over a third of his damage in one month, .266 AVG/10 HR/17 RBI/.916 OPS in July. That means he had basically one solid month out of a whole season where he was rosterable.

His batted ball data stayed similar to what he did in his breakout seasons, but his LD dipped to 16%, and his Soft contact ballooned to 19%. All in all, Odor swung at everything, and when he did make contact, it was not solid.

Odor is only 23-years-old but will have to now make a re-adjustment or will find himself struggling yet again. In terms of the positives, his batted ball data was not terrible, 42% FB, 45% Med contact and 37% Hard contact. he does pull the ball a ton, 50%, which is not the worst thing considering Texas is a great hitters ballpark either.

He has also played in over 150 games the last two seasons, so the durability is there. Texas should post a solid lineup in 2018, offering him the chance to compile counting stats again if he can get a spot near the middle of the order again. Odor has quietly stolen at least 14 bases over that span as well, adding an element to his stat line that he needs.

Rangers’ coach, Jeff Banister, pointed to the last month of the 2017 season that saw Odor draw 10 walks as a sign that he can be more patient at the dish. Yet, it is a ridiculously small sample size to hold on to as a sign of hope for a player that has a renowned track record of being a free swinger.

Rougned Odor poses as one of the harder fantasy decisions in 2018. The power is hard to ignore, especially at the position, but the red flags are numerous. There is some depth at the position, pushing Odor down the ranks some. With power up across the game, Odor loses luster and the gamble just does not become worth it unless owners can take him late.

Rougned Odor is a name to navigate around this spring.