Results tagged ‘ Rougned Odor ’

Former Crawdads on Opening-Day MLB Rosters

The 2018 Major League Baseball season has begun and across the landscape former Hickory Crawdads dot the big-league rosters. Thirty-two former players are on 16 different teams, including 11 with the Texas Rangers, the parent club of the Crawdads.

Below is an overview of where former Hickory players will start the 2018 season:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Texas Rangers:

Alex Claudio: The 2013 Crawdads reliever will bring his changeup to the Rangers for his fifth season at Arlington. Claudio posted 11 saves and a 2.50 ERA over 70 games (8th in the AL) last year. He again is expected to be a key member of the Rangers bullpen.

Claudio, Alexander

Joey Gallo: The Crawdads single-season home run record holder joins the Rangers for his fourth season in the majors. A third baseman for the 2013 team, Gallo will start at first for Texas. He is coming off a season in which he hit 41 homers (third in the AL) and slugged .537 (9th).

Gallo

Keone Kela: Another Crawdads reliever from the 2013 club returns to the Rangers for his fourth big-league season. Kela is expected to be the closer for the Texas, one season after posting a 2.79 ERA and struck out 51 in 38.2 innings (39 games).

Keone Kela 3

Jose Leclerc: A third reliever off the 2013 Crawdads squad will be in his third season with the Rangers, but his first on the opening-day roster. He appeared in 47 games out of the Texas bullpen in 2017 and put up a 3.94 ERA. Opposing hitters hit just .145 against Leclerc, who struck out 60 in 45.2 innings.

Jose Leclerc action

Nomar Mazara: The Crawdads right fielder in 2013 and 2014 will be in his third season with Texas to start the season. Mazara posted a .253/.323/.422 slash in 2017 with 20 homers and 101 RBI (9th in the AL). He opens the season as the Rangers starting right fielder.

Nomar Mazara 2

Rougned Odor: The Crawdads 2012 second baseman suits up for Texas in his fifth season as the club’s starter at the same position. Though he hit 30 or more homers for his second straight season, Odor struggled at the plate with a .204/.252/.397 slash.

Rougned Odor2

Martin Perez: The 2009 Crawdads starting pitcher will begin the season on the disabled list (right elbow) but is expected to make his first start for the Rangers on April 5. Now in his seventh season, Perez went 13-12 in 32 starts in 2017. He’s looking to improve on a 4.82 ERA and a .301 opponents batting avg.

Perez 2

Jurickson Profar: The 2011 Crawdads shortstop is now in his fifth season with the Rangers after spending much of last year at AAA Round Rock. Profar hit .172/.294/.207 in 22 major league games in 2017. He will play a utility role for Texas.

Jurickson Profar

Drew Robinson: The 2012 Crawdads third baseman is in his second season with the Rangers after making his debut with the club last April. Sent down to AAA Round Rock shortly after his debut, Robinson returned mid-season and hit .224/.314/.439 in 48 games with Texas. He starts the season as a utilityman.

Drew Robinson

Ricardo Rodriguez: The 2014-2015 pitcher for the Crawdads will start the 2018 season on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. Rodriguez made his big-league debut with the Rangers last August. In 16 relief appearances, he had a 6.15 ERA in 13 innings.

Ricardo Rodriguez

Ryan Rua: The 2013 Crawdads second baseman is in his fifth major league season with the Rangers and is the team’s starting left fielder. Rua split last season with Texas and AAA Round Rock. With the Rangers, he had a .217/.294/.333 slash with nine extra-base hits in 144 plate appearances.

Ryan Rua HR trot.jpg

 

Baltimore Orioles:

Richard Bleier:  A starting pitcher at the beginning of the 2009 season, the lefty is in his third major league season, the second with the Orioles. Bleier was called up to stay with the Orioles in May 2017 and became a key part of the team’s bullpen. In 57 games covering 63.1 innings, Bleier went 2-1 with a 1.99 ERA to go with an opponents batting average of .257 and a 1.18 WHIP.

Hickory Crawdads - Richard Bleier

 

Chicago White Sox:

Leury Garcia: The Crawdads shortstop from 2009-2010 is in his sixth major league season with 215 his 240 big-league games coming with the White Sox. Garcia hit for a MLB career high .270 in 87 games with nine homers and 33 RBI. He will play a utility role, mostly as a fourth outfielder.

Garcia, Leury

 

Cleveland Indians:

Rajai Davis: The Crawdads 2003 center fielder – he also played a handful of games with the team in 2002 – begins his 13th big-league season by rejoining the Indians. Signed by Cleveland to a minor league contract in the offseason, Davis had a strong spring to make the team. Davis stole 43 bases for Cleveland in 134 games in 2016 and his eighth-inning, three-run homer against Aroldis Chapman in game seven of the 2016 World Series tied the game at the time. He played in 100 games with Oakland last season before going to the Boston Red Sox in a late-season trade. Davis posted a .235/.293/.348 slash and stole 29 bases last year. He will be a fourth outfielder this year for the Indians.

 

Kansas City Royals:

Justin Grimm: A 2011 starting pitcher for Hickory is now in his seventh major league season, the first with Kansas City. The Royals signed him after the Chicago Cubs released him in spring training. Grimm went 1-2 with a 5.53 ERA in 50 relief appearances last year with the Cubs.

Grimm_Justin 2.jpg

 

Minnesota Twins:

Zach Duke: A starting pitcher for the Crawdads in 2003, Duke is now in his 14th season in the major leagues and will begin his tenure with the Twins this season out of the bullpen. Coming off 2016 “Tommy John” surgery, Duke made 27 relief appearances for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017 with a 3.93 ERA and a .197 OBA in 18.1 innings. He’s expected to be a left-handed specialist for Minnesota.

 

New York Yankees:

Neil Walker: The 2005 Crawdads catcher is in his 10th major league season, his first with the Yankees after signing a free-agent contract with the club in March. After seven seasons as the starting second baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets, Walker moved around the diamond in 2017, first with the Mets and then with the Milwaukee Brewers after a midseason trade. At the plate, Walker posted a .265/.362/.439 slash with 14 homers and 49 RBI. He is expected to play first and second with the Yankees.

Walker.JPG

 

Toronto Blue Jays:

Steve Pearce: The 2007 Crawdads first baseman is in his 12th major league season, the second with the Blue Jays. Last year, Pearce was the right-handed part of the Blue Jays platoon in leftfield and is expected to play in the same role in 2018. He hit .252/.319/.438 with 13 homers and 37 RBI in 92 games last year.

Steve Pearce.JPG

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

Chicago Cubs:

Carl Edwards, Jr.: A member of the Crawdads starting rotation in 2013, Edwards is now in his fourth season as a reliever with the Cubs. In 73 games last season, Edwards had a 2.98 ERA with an opponents batting average of .134 on 66.1 innings. His 25 holds last year was second in the National League. He is expected again to be a key member of the Cubs bullpen.

CJ Edwards

 

Cincinnati Reds:

Jared Hughes: A starting pitcher for the Crawdads in 2006 and 2007, Hughes enters his eighth season in the big leagues, his first with the Reds after signing a two-year contract in the offseason. Last season with the Milwaukee Brewers, Hughes with 5-3 with a 3.02 ERA and one save. Hughes will pitch out of the bullpen for the Reds.

Hickory Crawdads - Jared Hughes

 

Los Angeles Dodgers:

Wilmer Font: A starting pitcher for the Crawdads in 2009 and 2010, Font is in his fourth major league season, the second with the Dodgers. Font spent much of 2017 at AAA Oklahoma City where he put together a strong season that led to his selection as the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year. Font pitched in three games with the Dodgers after rosters expanded in September and gave up seven runs in 3.2 Innings. He’ll pitch out of the bullpen for the Dodgers.

Hickory Crawdads - Wilmer Font

 

Miami Marlins:

Lewis Brinson: The Crawdads starting center fielder in 2013 and 2014, Brinson has a full-fledged opportunity for the same role in the majors after Brinson was traded to the Marlins in the offseason. Brinson made his big-league debut last summer with the Brewers and went 5-for-47 in 21 games.

Lewis Brinson outfield dive.jpg

Tomas Telis: The Crawdads catcher from 2011 is in his fifth major league season, the fourth with the Marlins. He spent much of 2017 at AAA New Orleans but posted a .240/.279/.367 slash in 48 big-league games. Telis will be the starting catcher for the Marlins due to an injury to J.T. Realmuto

 TRACY PROFFITT | URASTAR IMAGES - Tomas Telis (13) - Hickory Crawdads

Philadelphia Phillies:

Jorge Alfaro:  The Crawdads catcher from 2012 and 2013 will be on his first opening-day roster after parts of two seasons with the Phillies. A midseason all-star at AAA Lehigh Valley, Alfaro hit .314/.360/.514 in 29 games at Philadelphia. He will split time with Andrew Knapp behind the plate.

Jorge Alfaro.jpg

Jerad Eickhoff: The Crawdads starting pitcher in 2012 is in his fourth season with the Phillies, though he starts the season on the disabled list with a strained right lat. In 24 starts last season, Eickhoff went 4-8 with a 4.71 ERA.

Jerad Eickhoff

Odubel Herrera: The starting second baseman for Hickory in 2011, Herrera is now cemented as the Phillies center fielder for the fourth straight season. In 138 games in 2017, he hit .281/.325/.452 with 42 doubles – the third most in the NL – 14 homers and 56 RBI.

Herrera_Odubel.jpg

Nick Williams: The 2013 starting left fielder for Hickory is in his second season with the Phillies after he made his major league debut for the team last June. Williams went on to hit .288/.338/.473 with 12 homers and 55 RBI in 83 games with the Phillies. He is the starting right fielder.

Nick Williams

 

Pittsburgh Pirates:

Jordy Mercer: The starting shortstop the second half of the 2008 season with the Crawdads is the final member remaining with Pittsburgh from the former Hickory affiliation with the Pirates that ended in 2008. Now in his seventh season – the sixth as the Bucs shortstop – he is likely on the move in what is his final contract year with Pittsburgh. With the Pirates in 2017, Mercer hit .255/.326/.406 with 14 homers and 58 RBI in 145 games.

Mercer, Jordy.jpg

 

San Diego Padres:

Robbie Erlin: The 2010 South Atlantic League’s ERA champ while with Hickory is now in his fifth season with the Padres. Tommy John surgery cost the left-hander much of the 2016 and all of the 2017 season. Erlin will likely be in the San Diego rotation.

Robbie Erlin

Christian Villanueva: The 2011 Crawdads third baseman made his big-league debut with San Diego last September in grand style after hitting four homers and going 11-for-32 in 12 games. Villanueva returns to the Padres as a utility infielder after he made his first opening-day roster.

Villanueva in field

San Francisco Giants:

Andrew McCutchen: The 2006 Crawdads center fielder is in his tenth major league season, but after an offseason trade, he’ll suit up for another club other than the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first time. The 2013 National League MVP now patrols right field for the Giants after nine seasons as the Pirates center fielder. In 156 games last season, McCutchen hit .279/.363/.486 with 28 homers and 88 RBI.

Andrew McCutchen

Tony Watson: A starter in his brief stint with the Crawdads in 2007, the left-hander is now in his seventh major league season as one of the game’s best left-handed setup relievers. After five full seasons with the Pirates, he was dealt in a midseason trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom he made his first World Series appearance. In 71 games last season, he was 7-4 with ten saves and a 3.38 ERA in 66.2 innings. Watson signed a two-year contract with the Giants in the offseason.

 

Former Crawdads Scattered throughout MLB Opening Day Rosters

As the 2017 season begins, 29 former Hickory Crawdads will dot major league rosters. That is up from 25 to start the 2016 campaign.

Ten of those are on the Crawdads parent club, the Texas Rangers. Among American League clubs, only Toronto has two former Hickory players. Thirteen former Crawdads are on National League teams, including three on the Pittsburgh Pirates, left over from the days of their affiliation with Hickory. The Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres each have two.

Three players on MLB rosters will start the year on the disabled list: Hanser Alberto (Texas), Robbie Erlin (San Diego) and Zach Duke (St. Louis).

Here is a synopsis of each player in the majors:

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE:

Hanser Alberto (’12): The infielder will begin the season on the disabled. He has played the last two seasons with Texas, posting a .194/ .204 /.226 slash over 76 combined games.

Hanser Alberto fielding

Hanser Alberto, shown in a 2012 game at Kannapolis, went on to win a minor league “Gold Glove” award in 2014. (Tracy Proffitt)

 

Jose Bautista (’02): The right-handed hitter will be in his 14th major league season, the ninth with the Toronto Blue Jays. Battling injuries in 2016, Bautista hit 22 homers in 116 and posted a .234/.366/.452 slash. He signed a one-year contract with Toronto during the off-season to remain with the club.

Alex Claudio (’13): The soft-tossing, lefty reliever will be in his fourth major league season with the Texas Rangers. In 39 games in 2016, he put up a 2.79 ERA over 51.2 innings with 34 Ks and 10 walks.

Claudio, Alexander

Alex Claudio (’13) now a middle reliever for the Texas Rangers (Tracy Proffitt)

 

Rajai Davis (’02-’03): The speedy outfielder will be in his 12th major league season, his first with the Oakland A’s after signing a free agent contract in the off-season. The right-handed hitter posted a .249/.306/.388 slash with Cleveland in 2016 and led the American League with 43 stolen bases. He is expected to start in centerfield for the Athletics, with whom he played for from 2008-2010.

Joey Gallo (’13): The left-handed hitter will be in his third major league season with the Texas Rangers. He has played in 53 games the previous two years, putting up a .173/ .281/.368 slash. Gallo will start at third in place of the injured Adrian Beltre.

Joey Gallo

Joey Gallo will be the opening-day third baseman for Texas (Tracy Proffitt)

 

Leury Garcia (’09-’10): The switch-hitter will be in his fifth major league season, most of those with the Chicago Cubs. Out of minor-league options, Garcia was kept on the big league club and will fill a utility role. He spent much of last year at AAA Charlotte.

Hickory Crawdads - Leury Garcia

Leury Garcia is expected to come off the bench for the White Sox (John M. Setzler, Jr.)

 

Jose Leclerc (’13): The right-handed reliever will be on his first opening-day roster after he made 12 relief appearances for the Texas Rangers in his debut season last year. He put up a 1.80 ERA in 15 innings with 15 Ks and 13 BBs. He split last year at AA Frisco and AAA Round Rock.

Jose Leclerc action

Jose Leclerc is on his first major league, opening-day roster spot with the Rangers.

 

Nomar Mazara (’13-’14): The left-handed hitting outfielder will be in his second major league season with the Texas Rangers after playing in 145 games during his debut season. He posted a .266/.320/.419 slash with 20 homers and 64 RBI. Mazara will start the season in right.

Nomar Mazara

Nomar Mazara will start in RF for the Rangers (Tracy Proffitt)

 

Rougned Odor (’12): The left-handed second baseman will be in his fourth season with the Texas Rangers and recently signed a six-year extension with the club. Last year, Odor hit 33 homers and collected 88 RBI in 150 games. His posted a .271/.296 /.502 slash.

Rougned Odor2

Rougned Odor recently signed a six-year extension with the Rangers (Tracy Proffitt)

 

Steve Pearce (’07): The right-handed hitter will be in his 11th major league season, the first with the Toronto Blue Jays after signing a two-year deal during the off-season. Pearce split last year between Tampa Bay and Baltimore, posting a .288/.374/.492 slash over 110 games. He his expected to start in left.

Steve Pearce

Steve Pearce signed with the Blue Jays during the offseason (John M. Setzler, Jr.)

 

Martin Perez (’09): The left-handed pitcher will be in his sixth major league season with the Texas Rangers. Perez went 10-11 with a 4.39 ERA over 33 starts in 2016. He is expected to be the No. 3 starter for the Rangers.

Perez 2

Martin Perez will be the No. 3 starter for the Rangers this season (John M. Setzler, Jr.)

 

Jurickson Profar (’12, ’15): The switch-hitter will be in his fourth major league season with the Texas Rangers, but is on his first opening-day roster. Profar had a .239/.321/.338 slash over 90 games in 2016. He is expected to play a utility role for the Rangers this year.

TRACY PROFFITT | URASTAR IMAGES - Jurickson Profar (10) - Hickory Crawdads

Jurickson Profar looks to put his potential to use with the Rangers this season. (John M. Setzler, Jr.)

 

Drew Robinson (’12): The left-handed hitter will make his major league debut with the Texas Rangers this season after spending last year at AAA Round Rock. Robinson will play a utility role with Texas.

Drew Robinson at 3B

3B Drew Robinson will make his MLB debut for the Rangers this season. (Tracy Proffitt)

 

Robbie Ross (’10): The left-handed reliever will be in his sixth major league season, the third with the Boston Red Sox. Ross posted a 3.25 ERA in 2016 and fanned 56 over 55.1 innings.

Hickory Crawdads - Robbie Ross

Robbie Ross looks to provide solid middle relief for Boston this year (John M. Setzler, Jr.)

 

Ryan Rua (’13): The right-handed hitter will be in his fourth major league season with the Texas Rangers. Rua posted a .258//331/.400 slash over 99 games last year. He is expected to split time in left and at first.

Ryan Rua

Ryan Rua with split time in LF for Texas this season (Tracy Proffitt)

 

Chris Young (’01-’02): The right-handed pitcher will be in his 13th major league season, the third with the Kansas City Royals. Young went 3-9 in 34 games (13 starts) in 2016 with a 6.19 ERA. He lost out in a battle for the No. 5 spot in the rotation and will be a long-man out of the bullpen.

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

 Zach Duke (’03): The left-handed reliever will miss the 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He is currently with the St. Louis Cardinals after the team acquired him from the Chicago White Sox in a 2016 trade.

Carl Edwards, Jr. (’13): The right-handed reliever will be in his third major league season with the Chicago Cubs. This will be his first opening-day in the majors. In 36 games last year, Edwards posted a 3.75 ERA with 52 Ks and 14 BBs over 36 innings. The National League hit just .123 against Edwards.

CJ Edwards

Carl Edwards, Jr. looks to a bigger role in the Chicago Cubs bullpen in 2017 (Tracy Proffitt)

 

Jerad Eickhoff (’12): The right-handed starting pitcher will be in his third major league season with the Philadelphia Phillies after he completed his first full year with the club in 2016. He went 11-14 with a 3.65 ERA over 33 starts, striking out 167 and walking 42 over 197.1 innings. Eickhoff will be the No. 2 starter for the Phillies.

Jerad Eickhoff

Jerad Eickhoff looks to take another step forward in the Phillies rotation this season (Tracy Proffitt)

 

Robbie Erlin (’10): The left-handed pitcher will begin this season on the disabled list with the San Diego Padres while he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2016. He hopes to return to the club this midseason for what would be his fifth major league season.

Justin Grimm (’11): The right-handed reliever will be in his sixth major league season, the fifth with the Chicago Cubs. In 68 appearances in 2016, Grimm went 2-1 with a 4.10 ERA and fanned 65 to just 23 walks over 52.2 IP. Grimm will pitch in middle relief.

Grimm_Justin.jpg

Justin Grimm continues to pitch in middle relief this season for the Cubs (Tracy Proffitt)

 

Odubel Herrera (’11): The left-handed hitter will be in his third major league season with the Philadelphia Phillies after he took a big step as one of the National League’s best young centerfielders in 2016. During a season in which he represented the Phillies on the National League All-Star Team, Herrera posted a .286/.361/.420 slash and stole 25 bases in 159 games.

TRACY PROFFITT | SCOUT.COM -(2) Odubel Herrera - Hickory Crawdads

Odubel Herrera hopes to build on his 2016 all-star season (Tracy Proffitt)

 

Jared Hughes (’07-’08): The right-handed reliever will be in his seventh major league season and recently just signed with the Milwaukee Brewers after the Pittsburgh Pirates released him last week. Hughes went 1-1 with a 3.03 ERA over 67 appearances in 2016. He will pitch in middle relief for the Brewers.

Hickory Crawdads - Jared Hughes

Jared Hughes signed with Milwaukee to start the 2017 season (John M. Setzler, Jr.)

 

Andrew McCutchen (’06): The right-handed hitter will be in his ninth major league season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. McCutchen struggled over 153 games last year and posted his career-worst slash (.256/.336/.430). He hit 24 homers, but stole just six bases in 13 attempts. After manning center his entire career, McCutchen will shift to right this year.

Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen looks to rebound with the Pirates after a tough 2016 season  (John M. Setzler, Jr.)

 

Jordy Mercer (’08): The right-handed shortstop will be in his sixth major league season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played in 149 games last year and posted a .256/.313/.377 with 11 homers and 59 RBI.

Mercer action

Jordy Mercer returns to the Pirates lineup at shortstop (John M. Setzler, Jr.)

 

Neil Ramirez (’09-’10): The right-handed pitcher will be in his fourth major league season, the first with the San Francisco Giants. Ramirez signed a minor-league contract with the club during the offseason and made the club out of spring training. Ramirez made 18 relief appearances with three clubs (Cubs, Milwaukee, Minnesota) and struggled to a 6.00 ERA over 24 innings. He did strike out 24, but walked 18 and had a 1.67 WHIP. He will come out of the bullpen for the Giants.

Ramirez

Neil Ramirez joins the San Francisco Giants after a strong spring. (John M. Setzler, Jr.)

 

Luis Sardinas (’12): The switch-hitter will be in his fourth major league season, the second with the San Diego Padres after the team acquired him from Seattle during the 2016 season. Sardinas played in 66 combined games last year with a .244/.295/.356 slash. He will play some shortstop, but will start the season in a utility role.

Luis Sardinas bunt

Luis Sardinas will be in a utility role with San Diego (Tracy Proffitt)

 

Neil Walker (’05): The switch-hitting second baseman will be in his ninth major league season, the second with the New York Mets after resigning in the offseason. Despite battling a back injury, Walker still posted a .282/.347/.476 over 113 games with the Mets and blasted 23 homers.

Walker web

Neil Walker returns to the Mets for a second season as the starting 2B.

Tony Watson (’07): The left-handed reliever will be in his seventh major league season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. After the midseason trade of Mark Melancon, Watson took on the job of the Pirates closer in 2016 and will serve in the same role this year. He went 2-5 with 15 saves last year over 70 games with a 3.06 ERA. Watson struck out 58 and walked 20 over 67.2 IP.

 

Crawdads Alumni Report May 7

Saturday, May 7

HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: ­

Rougned Odor (’12, 2B/ Texas) 3-5, solo HR (3) in the fifth, 3 RBI for the Rangers in their 5-1 win at Detroit.

 

BIRTHDAYS:

Rich Pratt (’93-’94, P) turns 45.

 

TRANSACTIONS:

Phil Klein (’12, P) was optioned by the Texas Rangers to AAA Round Rock.

Leury Garcia (’09-’10, SS) was activated from the disabled list at AAA Charlotte (White Sox).

Johan Yan (’10, P) was released by Cuidad del Carmen of the Mexican League.

 

TEXAS RANGERS:

Texas 5 Detroit 1: Hanser Alberto (’12, 3B- SS/ Texas); Nomar Mazara (’13-’14, OF/ Texas) 0-4, BB

New Orleans (Miami) 3 Round Rock (AAA) 5: Tomas Telis (’11, C/ New Orleans) 1-3, 2B, BB, R, RBI, K / Jurickson Profar (’11, 15, SS) 0-3, BB; Drew Robinson (’12, 3B) 0-1, Sac; Jimmy Reyes (’11, P) 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K;  Andrew Faulkner (’12-’13, P) 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K, win (2-0); Luke Jackson (’11-’12, P) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K, save (1).

Frisco (AA) 6 San Antonio (San Diego) 1: Lewis Brinson (’13-’14, OF) 1-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K; Zach Cone (’12, 14, OF) 1-4, two-run HR (4) in the second, 2 K; Ryan Cordell (’14, OF) 0-3, BB, SB, K; Kellin Deglan (’11-’12, ’14, C) 1-4, R, K; Ronald Guzman (’13-’15, 1B) 0-3, BB, R; Joe Jackson (’14, C-OF) 3-4, 2B, R; Isiah Kiner-Falefa (’14-’15, UT) 1-3, 2 BB, R, K; Reed Garrett (’15, P); Jose Leclerc (’13, P); Frank Lopez (’14, P); Adam Parks (’15, P); Victor Payano (’11, P); David Perez (’15, P); Connor Sadzeck (’13, P) 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, win (4-0); Ryne Slack (’13-’14, P) 1 IP, 1 K.

Rancho Cucamonga 2 High Desert (High-A) 7: Jairo Beras (’14-’15, OF) 1-4, three-run HR (4) in the first, K; Michael De Leon (’14-’15, SS) 1-3, R; Travis Demeritte (’14-’15, 2B) 1-2, solo HR (10) in the sixth, 2 BB, 2 R; Josh Morgan (’15, 3B-SS) 0-3, HBP, K Juremi Profar (’14-’15, 3B) 0-4; Luke Tendler (’15, OF) 1-3, 3B, SF, R, RBI, Kevin Torres (’11-’15, C-1B) 1-4, 2B, K; Cole Wiper (’14, P) 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 4 K; Felix Carvallo (’14, P) 3.1 IP, 1 BB, 6 K, win (2-0);  John Fasola (’15, P) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K.

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE:

Kansas City 1 Cleveland 7: Chris Young (’01-’02, P/ Kansas City) 0-4, K.

LA Dodgers 2 Toronto 5: Jose Bautista (’02, OF/ Toronto) 1-4, two-run HR (6) in the sixth.

Minnesota 4 Chicago White Sox 10: Zach Duke (’03, P/ Chicago) 1 IP, 1 K.

Tampa Bay 5 LA Angels 2: Steve Pearce (’06, 1B/ Tampa Bay) 1-4, BB, R.

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

Milwaukee 1 Cincinnati 5: Alex Presley (’07, OF/ Milwaukee) 1-4, solo HR (3) in the fifth, BB, K.

Philadelphia 4 Miami 6: Odubel Herrera (’11/ 2B/ Philadelphia) 3-5, K.

Pittsburgh 4 St. Louis 2: Andrew McCutchen (’06, OF/ Pittsburgh) 1-4; Jordy Mercer (’08, SS/ Pittsburgh) 0-4, K; Tony Watson (’07, P/ Pittsburgh) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K.

New York Mets 0 San Diego 2: Neil Walker (’05, C/ NY Mets) 0-1, K.

Washington 6 Chicago Cubs 8: Justin Grimm (’11, P/ Chicago) 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 1 HR.

 

MINOR LEAGUES:

INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE (AAA):

Charlotte (White Sox) 0 Gwinnett (Atlanta) 4: Leury Garcia (’09-’10, SS/ Charlotte) 1-3.

Columbus (Cleveland) 9 Toledo (Detroit) 2: Dustin Molleken (’07-’08, P/ Toledo) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K.

Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre 1 Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia) 5: Nick Williams (’13, OF/ Lehigh Valley) 2-4, 2 R, RBI, K.

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (AAA):

Iowa (Cubs) 13 Omaha 7: CJ Edwards (’13, P/ Iowa) 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K.

Las Vegas 3 Sacramento (San Francisco) 5: Duke Welker (’08, P/ Sacramento) 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.

Reno (Arizona) 1 Salt Lake 6: Matt Capps (’04-’05, P/ Reno) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.

 

MEXICAN LEAGUE (AAA):

Campeche 0 Quintana Roo 4: Jose Castillo (’00, SS/ Campeche) 1-3, K.

Monclova 2 Laguna 3: Ronny Paulino (’01, C/ Laguna) 0-2, BB.

Reynosa 2 Monterrey 5: Humberto Cota (’99, C/ Monterrey) defensive appearance.

Tabasco 0 Veracruz 5: Rodolfo Aguirre (’08, P/ Tabasco) 2/3 IP, 1 BB.

 

SOUTHERN LEAGUE (AA):

Birmingham (White Sox) 5 Montgomery 2: Josh Richmond (’11, OF/ Birmingham) 1-4, R, 3 K.

Chattanooga (Minnesota) 4 Mobile 3: Joe Maloney (’13-’14, C-1B/ Chattanooga) 1-4, RBI, K.

 

FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE (High A):

Clearwater 5 Tampa (NY Yankees) 2: Jake Skole (’11, OF/ Tampa) 1-3, 2 K.

 

COLLEGES:

Cal State Los Angeles 4 (15-31, 14-21 CCAA) Cal State San Bernardino 8: Chris Hernandez (’04, P/ Pitching Coach, CSULA)

George Washington 2 (20-26, 9-7 Atlantic 10) Fordham 7: Gregg Ritchie (’98, Hitting Coach/ Head Coach, GWU)

Morningside (IA) 15 (41-14) Hastings 11 (Great Plains Conference Tournament): Brian Drent (’95, OF/ Head Coach MU)

Oakland (MI) 0 Milwaukee 8 (Game 1) / Oakland (MI) 9 (20-18, 10-8 Horizon) Milwaukee 5 (Game 2): John Musachio (’97, P/ Head Coach OU)

SW Minnesota St. 0 Augustana (SD) 6 (Game 1) / SW Minnesota St. 2 Augustana (SD) 4 (34-14, 25-7 Northern Sun) (Game 2): Juan Thomas (’93, 1B/ Volunteer Asst., AU)

Valparaiso (IN) 2 Wright St. 8 (Game 1) / Valparaiso (IN) 10 (20-22, 11-9 Horizon) Wright St. 11 (Game 2): Brian Schmack (’96, P/ Head Coach, Valpo)

Wayland Baptist 6 Oklahoma City 8/ Bacone 1 Oklahoma City 19 (38-18) (Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament): Bobby Spain (’08, 3B/ Asst. Coach/ OCU)

Western Illinois 3 Oral Roberts (OK) 13 (27-15, 16-6 Summit): Sean Snedeker (’96-’98, Pitching Coach/ Pitching Coach ORU)

 

JUNIOR COLLEGES:

Folsom Lake 3 Sacramento City 1 (27-10) (CCCAA Nor-Cal Regional Playoffs): Pete Pryor (’96, 1B/ Asst. Coach, SCC)

South Suburban 1 Oakton CC (IL) 14 (33-13): Michael Scala (’02, OF/ Asst. Coach, OCC)

 

HIGH SCHOOLS:

Blue Springs South 8 Lee’s Summit West (MO) 9 (15-8): Jay Meyer (’94, P/ Head Coach, LSW)

Calallen (TX) 1 (24-2) Somerset 0 (State 5A Playoffs): Jose Luis Lopez (’00, ’02, P/ Asst. Coach, CHS)

El Reno (OK) 10 (23-12) Guthrie 9 (4-5A West Region): Keanon Simon (’08, OF/ Head Coach, ERHS)

Crawdads Alumni Report April 12

Tuesday, April 12

HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: ­

Rougned Odor (’12, 2B/ Texas) 2-5, 2B, 3 RBI, K in a Rangers 7-3 win over Seattle.

 

BIRTHDAYS:

Brady Borner (’01, P) turns 37.

DJ Carrasco (’00, P) turns 39.

 

TRANSACTIONS:

Sean Burnett (’01, P) was assigned by the Los Angeles Dodgers to AAA Oklahoma City.

 

TEXAS RANGERS:

Texas 7 Seattle 3: Nomar Mazara (’13-’14, OF/ Texas) 2-4, SF, R, K; Ryan Rua (’13, 2B/ Texas) 3-4, R; Andrew Faulkner (’12-’13, P/ Texas) 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB / Luis Sardinas (’12, SS/ Seattle) 0-2, K.

Round Rock (AAA) 2 Omaha 5: Joey Gallo (’13, 3B) 1-3, BB, RBI, K; Jurickson Profar (’11, 15, SS) 1-4, 2B, R, K; Drew Robinson (’12, 3B) 0-4, K; Francisco Mendoza (’11, P) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K.

Frisco (AA) 1 Arkansas 0: Preston Beck (’13, 1B) 1-4, 3 K; Lewis Brinson (’13-’14, OF) 2-3, 2B, CS; Ryan Cordell (’14, OF) 0-3, 2 K; Kellin Deglan (’11-’12, ’14, C) 0-3; Ronald Guzman (’13-’15, 1B) 2-4, solo HR (1) in the sixth, K; Joe Jackson (’14, C-OF) 0-3, K; Isiah Kiner-Falefa (’14-’15, UT) 0-4, K, CS; Luis Marte (’13-’14, SS) 1-3, 2B; Reed Garrett (’15, P) 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 K.

Lake Elsinore 8 High Desert (High-A) 4: Jairo Beras (’14-’15, OF) 1-4, 2B, R, RBI, K; Michael De Leon (’14-’15, SS) 1-3, R; Travis Demeritte (’14-’15, 2B) 0-4, 2 K; David Lyon (’13, C) 0-4, K; Josh Morgan (’15, 3B-SS) 1-3, 2B, BB, R, RBI, K; Luke Tendler (’15, OF) 1-4, 2 RBI, K, CS; Joe Trevino (’15, C) 1-3, BB, R; Cole Wiper (’14, P) 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR; Adam Quintana (’15, P) 2.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, loss (0-1); Joe Filomeno (’15, P) 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K; Ryan Ledbetter (’14, P) 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K.

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE:

Chicago White Sox 4 Minnesota 1: Zach Duke (’03, P/ Chicago) 1/3 IP.

Kansas City 2 Houston 8: Chris Young (’01-’02, P/ Kansas City) 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, loss (0-2).

Pittsburgh 7 Detroit 4: Andrew McCutchen (’06, OF/ Pittsburgh) 1-5; Jordy Mercer (’08, SS/ Pittsburgh) 1-4, sac, 2 RBI; Tony Watson (’07, P/ Pittsburgh) 1 IP, 1 K.

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

Miami 10 New York Mets 3: Bryan Morris (’08, P/ Miami) 1 IP/ Neil Walker (’05, C/ NY Mets) 1-4, 2 K.

San Diego 4 Philadelphia 3: Odubel Herrera (’11/ 2B/ Philadelphia) 2-4, RBI, K.

 

MINOR LEAGUES:

INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE (AAA):

Charlotte (White Sox) 6 Norfolk 7: Leury Garcia (’09-’10, SS/ Charlotte) 2-5, R, SB.

Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre 6 Pawtucket (Boston) 3: Roman Mendez (’11, P/ Pawtucket) 2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR.

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (AAA):

Oklahoma City (LA Dodgers) 4 Memphis 0: Matt West (’09-’10, 3B/ Oklahoma City) 2 IP, 1 H, 4 K; Sean Burnett (’01, P/ Oklahoma City) 1 IP, 2 K.

 

EASTERN LEAGUE (AA):

Richmond 5 Reading (Philadelphia) 8: Jorge Alfaro (’12-’13, C/ Reading) 2-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI.

 

SOUTHERN LEAGUE (AA):

Birmingham (White Sox) 7 Jacksonville 11: Josh Richmond (’11, OF/ Birmingham) 2-5, K.

 

FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE (High A):

Bradenton 2 Tampa (NY Yankees) 5: Jake Skole (’11, OF/ Tampa) 0-3, BB, 3 K.

 

JUNIOR COLLEGES:

Morton 2 Oakton CC (IL) 7 (Game 1) / Morton 2 Oakton CC (IL) 17 (17-7, 7-1 Skyline) (Game 2): Michael Scala (’02, OF/ Asst. Coach, OCC)

 

HIGH SCHOOLS:

Green Valley 10 Foothill (NV) 1 (9-10, 4-6 Sunrise): Denny Crine (’95, P/ Asst. Coach, FHS)

West Forsyth 9 South Forsyth (GA) 8 (11-9, 6-7 6-6A): Russ Bayer (’03, P/ Head Coach, SFHS)

Crawdads Alumni Report March 26

Saturday, March 26

HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: ­

Rougned Odor (’12, 2B/ Texas) whipped three home runs (3) among his four hits and knocked in four hits to lead the Rangers to a 12-11 win over San Diego.

 

CRAWDADS ALUM IN THE NEWS:

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes that Rougned Odor is looking to improve his baserunning.

Odubel Herrera (’11, 2B) makes a circus catch in centerfield.

Pete Mackanin (’00, manager) signs a contract extension with the Philadelphia Phillies to manage the club through 2017 with a club option through 2018.

 

TEXAS RANGERS:

San Diego 11 Texas 12: Ronald Guzman (’13-’15, 1B/ Texas) 0-1; Eric Jenkins (’15, OF/ Texas) 1-3, 3B, R, K; Isiah Kiner-Falefa (’14-’15, UT/ Texas) 0-1; Josh Morgan (’15, 3B-SS/ Texas) 0-1; Rougned Odor (’12, 2B/ Texas); Drew Robinson (’12, 3B/ Texas) 1-4, solo HR (2) in the eighth, K; Joe Filomeno (’15, P/ Texas) 1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER,  K; Jefri Hernandez (’15, P/ Texas) 1 IP, 1 K, win (2-0); Francisco Mendoza (’11, P/ Texas) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K; Adam Parks (’15, P/ Texas) 1 IP; Jeffrey Springs (’15, P/ Texas) 2/3 IP, 4 H, 5 R / Robbie Erlin (’10, P/ San Diego)

 

CACTUS LEAGUE:

Chicago White Sox 4 Seattle 5 (10): Leury Garcia (’09-’10, SS/ Chicago) 0-1, K / Luis Sardinas (’12, SS/ Seattle) 0-4, 3 K.

Cleveland 5 Arizona 7: Tom Gorzelanny (’04, P/ Cleveland) 2/3 IP, 1 K.

Milwaukee 5 Chicago Cubs 4: Alex Presley (’06, OF/ Milwaukee) 0-2, K/ Justin Grimm (’11, P/ Chicago) 1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K.

 

GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE:

Pittsburgh 3 Boston 6: Jordy Mercer (’08, SS/ Pittsburgh) 0-4, 3 K.

St. Louis 5 New York Mets 5: Neil Walker (’05, C/ NY Mets) 2-4, K.

Toronto 4 Philadelphia 4: Odubel Herrera (’11/ 2B/ Philadelphia) 0-2, 2 K.

 

COLLEGES:

Cal State Los Angeles 2 (6-20, 5-10 CCAA) San Francisco St. 3: Chris Hernandez (’04, P/ Pitching Coach, CSULA)

Catholic 4 Elizabethtown (PA) 14 (9-9. 2-2 Landmark): Cliff Smith (’05, P/ Head Coach, EC)

George Washington 2 (8-15) Houston 5: Gregg Ritchie (’98, Hitting Coach/ Head Coach, GWU)

Indiana-Purdue-Ft. Wayne 6 Oral Roberts (OK) 3 (11-10, 2-2 Summit): Sean Snedeker (’96-’98, Pitching Coach/ Pitching Coach ORU)

Morningside (IA) 12 SW Assemblies of God (MO) 0 (Game 1) / Morningside 15 (19-5) SW Assemblies of God 5(Game 2) Brian Drent (’95, OF/ Head Coach MU)

Oakland (MI) 6 (8-11, 2-2 Horizon) Northern Kentucky 3: John Musachio (’97, P/ Head Coach OU)

Oklahoma City 20 (25-9, 7-1 Sooner) Mid-American Christian 2: Bobby Spain (’08, 3B/ Asst. Coach/ OCU)

St. Joseph’s 2 Richmond 4 (13-10, 1-1 Atlantic 10): Tracy Woodson (’99. Manager/ Head Coach/ UR)

Wright St. 9 Valparaiso (IN) 9 (7-12, 3-1 Horizon): Brian Schmack (’96, P/ Head Coach, Valpo)

 

HIGH SCHOOLS:

El Reno (OK) 9 (6-2, 3-0 1-AAAAA) Duncan 5: Keanon Simon (’08, OF/ Head Coach, ERHS)

Lee’s Summit West (MO) 2 (2-1) McCracken County (KY) 4 (Union City Tournament): Jay Meyer (’94, P/ Head Coach, LSW)

North Augusta 3 River Bluff (SC) 10 (11-2, 6-0 AAAAA-5): Doug Bearden (’95-’96, IF/ Asst. Coach, RBHS)

North Forsyth 8 South Forsyth (GA) 3 (9-6, 4-5 6-AAAAAA): Russ Bayer (’03, P/ Head Coach, SFHS)

North Mason 4 North Kitsap (WA) 6 (3-2, 1-0 Olympic): Jared Prince (’10, OF/ Asst. Coach, NKHS)  

Crawdads Alumni Report March 14

Monday, March 14

HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: ­

Jose Bautista (’02, OF/ Toronto) slammed a three-run HR (1) in the third during Toronto’s 6-1 win over Tampa Bay.

 

BIRTHDAYS:

Wardell Starling (’04, P) turns 33.

 

TRANSACTIONS:

Ben Rowen (’11, P) was optioned by the Toronto Blue Jays to AAA Buffalo.

 

ALUM IN THE NEWS:

Joey Gallo (’13, 3B/ Texas) crushes another baseball, writes T. R. Sullivan.

Sullivan also wrote that Rougned Odor (’12, 2B/ Texas) continues to recover from an oblique injury.

Gerry Fraley of Dallas Morning News interviews Ryan Rua (’13, 2B) about playing first base.

 

TEXAS RANGERS:

Texas 3 LA Angels 7: Hanser Alberto (’12, 3B- SS/ Texas) 0-1; Ryan Cordell (’14, OF/ Texas) 0-1; Joey Gallo (’13, 3B/ Texas) 1-3, solo HR (2) in the second; Nomar Mazara (’13-’14, OF/ Texas) 2-3, 2B, K; Juremi Profar (’14-’15, 3B/ Texas) 0-1; Jurickson Profar (’11, 15, SS/ Texas) 0-4, 2 K; Drew Robinson ’12, 3B/ Texas) 0-2, K; Ryan Rua (’13, 2B/ Texas) 1-1, 3B, R; Yohandez Mendez (’14-’15, P/ Texas) 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 K.

 

CACTUS LEAGUE:

Arizona 11 Chicago White Sox 4: Zach Duke (’03, P/ Chicago) 1 IP, 1 H

Los Angeles Dodgers 6 Colorado 4: Matt West (’09-’10, 3B/ Los Angeles) 1 IP, 1 HR, 2 K.

Milwaukee 5 Cleveland 4: Alex Presley (’06, OF/ Seattle) / Rajai Davis (’02-’03, OF/ Cleveland) 0-3.

Cincinnati 5 Seattle 3: Luis Sardinas (’12, SS/ Seattle) 0-2; Joe Wieland (’09-’10, P/ Seattle) 3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.

 

GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE:

Detroit 5 Pittsburgh 9: Dustin Molleken (’07-‘08, P/ Detroit) 1/3 IP/ Andrew McCutchen (’06, OF/ Pittsburgh) 1-3, R, RBI, 2 K; Jordy Mercer (’08, SS/ Pittsburgh) 1-3, R; Tony Watson (’07, P/ Pittsburgh) 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 K, 1 HR.

New York Mets 11 Miami 0: Bryan Morris (’08, P/ Miami) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB,  3K.

Philadelphia 3 New York Yankees 0: Nick Williams (’13, OF/ Philadelphia) 1-4, 2B, R, RBI, K / Richard Bleier (’09, P/ NY Yankees) 1 IP, 1 H.

 

COLLEGES:

Augustana (SD) 1 Concordia-St. Paul 2 / Augustana 3 (6-5) Concordia-St Paul 4 (Game 2): Juan Thomas (’93, 1B/ Volunteer Asst., AU)

Bemidji St. (MN) 4 Oklahoma City 1 (Game 1) / Bemidji St. (MN) 6 Oklahoma City 5 (17-8) (Game 2): Bobby Spain (’08, 3B/ Asst. Coach/ OCU)

Monmouth 5 George Washington 7 (6-9): Gregg Ritchie (’98, Hitting Coach/ Head Coach, GWU)

Oral Roberts 11 (7-7) Auburn 18: Sean Snedeker (’96-’98, Pitching Coach/ Pitching Coach ORU)

Penn St. 5 Richmond 6 (11-5) (Spider Invitational): Tracy Woodson (’99. Manager/ Head Coach/ UR)

 

JUNIOR COLLEGES:

Oakton CC (IL) 2 Muscatine CC (IA) 7 (Game 1) / Oakton 4 (2-2) Muscatine 11 (Game 2) (Russmat Invitational, Auburndale, FL): Michael Scala (’02, OF/ Asst. Coach, OCC)

When He Was a Crawdad: Looking back at a confident Rougned Odor

Former Hickory Crawdads Rougned Odor had a playoff debut to remember on Thursday in game one of the American League Division Series with the Texas Rangers against the Toronto Blue Jays. Odor’s day was punctuated by a solo home run solo home run in the seventh; he was also hit twice and scored three runs as the Rangers took a 5-3 win.

Odor, now 21, grew up in Maracaibo, Venezuela and is the nephew of current minor league hitting coach Rouglas Odor, himself an eight-year minor leaguer.

Odor came upon the radar screen of the Texas Rangers while playing for Venezuela during the 2009 World Youth Baseball tournament in Taiwan. The Rangers signed him as a 16-year-old in 2010 and after skipping the Dominican Summer League, Odor made his pro debut with short-season Spokane in 2011 at the tender age of 17.

He certainly wasn’t overmatched on the field in the Northwest League, as he posted a .262/.352/.352 slash with a 37-to-13 walk-to-K ratio in 58 games. Generously listed at 5-11, 170 lbs. at Hickory in 2012 – likely smaller at Spokane – Odor didn’t back down from anything, as was seen when he was the spark in a major benches-clearing brawl during a game against Vancouver.

His tough-nosed attitude was a hallmark of his play during the 2012 season at Hickory. In fact, the style of the 18-year-old caught the eye of then-Crawdads manager Bill Richardson at spring training in Arizona.

“This kid won my heart in spring by the way he plays the game,” said Richardson in an interview prior to the start of the season. “He plays it hard.  He’s not the biggest stature, but being probably one of the younger kids in the Sally League again, I think he could have an all-star type season.”

Rougned Odor (top) turns a double play against Kannapolis (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)

Rougned Odor (top) turns a double play against Lakewood (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)

Odor certainly got off to a big start in the first half, highlighted by his selection as the South Atlantic League hitter of the week from May 21 to 27. During that week, he was 8-for-22 (.364) with a home run, five doubles, seven runs scored and four RBI.

“He was above the line for a good stint there and I’m really pleased that he got player of the week, because he did a lot a good things,” said Richardson. “He is a special player; let’s call it what it is.  Hopefully we can keep it going.”

What surprised observers was Odor’s ability to put the ball out of the ballpark as he drilled ten homers to go with 23 doubles in 109 games.

“He’s got pretty good legs,” said 2012 Crawdads hitting coach Josue Perez. “That’s where his power comes from is his legs. He’s good a pretty good smooth, sweet swing.  He’s able to backspin the ball a little bit. Another thing is, he goes up there to hit. He doesn’t go up there to take too many pitches.”

He owned a .293/.357/.482 slash through June 3 when he dislocated his shoulder on a slide into third, costing him a likely South Atlantic League all-star selection. A bigger hit was to the Crawdads, which at the time was digging for a potential SAL playoff berth.

“He’s one of our leaders,” Richardson said of Odor after the injury. “We know that he’s just a gritty, hard-nosed kid. He never gets hurt. For him to have this, it definitely hurts when you take one of your heart-and-soul guys out.  I think he had good enough numbers to be on that all-star team.”

Rougned Odor showed pop at the plate with 10 homers and 23 doubled in 109 games (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)

Rougned Odor showed pop at the plate with 10 homers and 23 doubled in 109 games (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)

Once he came back, he treaded water for a while before the North Carolina heat of August sapped his body and Odor finished at .259/.313/.400. It was apparent that the teenaged Odor had work to do to build his stamina for marathon seasons to come.

“I think the main thing with Odor is channeling that energy and putting that energy into his focus.” said Jayce Tingler, the 2012 Rangers minor league field coordinator. “Staying more disciplined, he’s got great ability to hit.  He’s got great ability to defend and learning the process of playing 140 games, channeling that into concentration of what he needs to do at bat-by-at bat and also pitch-by-pitch eventually.”

I did an interview with Odor for a column in July of 2012. While abnormally assured of himself on the field, at the time, he seemed surprisingly shy during the conversation I had with him. As I look back now at the interview three-plus years later, I think Odor had more of a mindset in which he wondered what the big deal was concerning his ability as a major league prospect. Odor was simply playing well because that’s what he was born to do.

Odor was among the most confident players I have seen come to Hickory. As I see him now with Texas, there is still the air of, “What’s the big deal? I’m just playing baseball.” He expects to succeed – just like when he was at Hickory.

The one quote I will always remember about Odor came from a National League scout, who simply said, “Rougned Odor is good and here’s the thing, he knows he’s good.”

Below are excerpts of the interview I did with Odor in July of 2012, through the translation of 2012 Crawdads assistant coach Humberto Miranda.

What was it like to grow up in Maracaibo?

Odor: When I was little, I started playing baseball when I was two years old.  I would go to class and practice when I was growing up and hanging out with friends.

Was your uncle instrumental in getting you started in baseball?

Odor; Not just him, but my dad was instrumental in getting me started in the game.

 

What was your first memory in organized baseball?

Odor: When I was 10, I was playing in a tournament, my uncle came to see me, and I hit a home run that particular day.  I was so happy about it.

 

When did you start thinking seriously about playing pro baseball?

Odor: About 12 or 13-years-old.

How did you get started in that direction? 

Odor: My dad was a big part of him keeping me on the right path – practicing every day, putting me in tournaments or leagues with teams that were older than me.  I also represented Venezuela a couple of times and that helped me out with pressure and situations with fans and all that.

Did you travel to other countries to play?

Odor: Guatelemala, Dominican, Mexico, Cuba, Taiwan

What was Taiwan like?

Odor: It was great because I saw things that I never saw before.  It was a great experience learning that culture.

How did you and the Rangers get together?

Odor: The Rangers had been following me a lot. Before I signed, they went to Taiwan to see me play.  They saw me play in Maracaibo, where I’m from and I even flew over to the states to have a try out.

What’s it like to go from Venezuela to Spokane at 17?

Odor: I felt really fortunate to go to that league so young, even though I didn’t play rookie ball.  I felt fortunate that all the work paid off.  All the work that I did with my uncle and my parents, it paid off.  I give my 100% every day to make my goal.

What was the biggest thing that your dad and your uncle did to help you growing up?

Odor: They always talked a lot about baseball.  They talked to me about how to deal with pressure or failure and also when you have good games, how to handle it and how to play the game overall.

What did they teach you about dealing with pressure?

Odor: They always told me to respect the game, whether you do good or bad.  If it goes bad, I’m working at it.  It’s part of the game.

What was the hardest thing about going to Spokane?

Odor: Nothing about baseball, but learning English was a big factor.  But I’ve been able to pick it up.

What’s it like being 17 and living on your own?

Odor: It wasn’t that hard, because when I was little, I traveled a lot.  I always got used to being by myself away from my family and home.  So, it wasn’t that hard to adapt to it.

Are you surprised at how quick you are moving up?  Does anything surprise you yet?

Odor: No

Is this an easy game for you?

Odor: I don’t feel surprised. The game is not easy, but I work hard enough to slow it down. I was happy to come over here. I do just do my best and it’s showing up.

What are you working on for the rest of the year?

Odor: Just keeping the focus day in and day out and just to improve in every area that I can.  Now, it’s not physical, it’s more mental.  I have to talk care of my mental routine to bring it every day.  It doesn’t matter if I have 60%, 40% or 20% of me. That day, I’m going to give my 100% of what I have that day.

What did your family teach you about failure?

Odor: Failure is part of the game, so I’m going to keep my routine going and work harder.  It’s part of the game.  If you 70%, you’re still successful in this game.  I don’t see it as failure; I see it as a learning experience.

What is the biggest thing you have to work on between now and the big leagues?

Odor: Keep focusing day in and day out. That’s the biggest difference between a major leaguer and a being in the minor leagues. Keep working on my defense, turning double plays. I’ve been working hard and I’m getting better. My hitting is going to come along, because I’ve always hit. Just bring it every day.

How soon do you want to get to the big leagues?

Odor: My goal is to get to the big leagues by 21 or 22-years old.

What sticks out about Odor compared to the other middle infielders (at the time, the Rangers system had middle infielder prospects Leury Garcia, Hanser Alberto, Jurickson Profar, Odubel Herrera and Luis Sardinas?

Odor: I think the big difference between them and me is I play the game every day. No matter what the score is, no matter the situation, I play the game hard. They’re good players, and I’m taking nothing away from them, but they’re them and I’m me.

Rougned Odor (left) and Hanser Alberto, currently on the Texas Rangers playoff  roster vs. Toronto (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)

Rougned Odor (left) and Hanser Alberto, currently on the Texas Rangers playoff roster vs. Toronto (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)