In need of infield help with Jurickson Profar and Kevin Kouzmanoff on the 60-day disabled list and Donnie Murphy hurting with a neck injury, the Rangers have decided to call up 20-year-old top prospect Rougned Odor well ahead of his expected debut timetable.
Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus both ranked Odor among their top-50 prospects this season and he was holding his own at Double-A despite being one of the youngest players in the Texas League, hitting .279 with six homers and a .763 OPS in 32 games.
However, those numbers certainly don’t scream MLB-ready and Odor’s poor 22/7 K/BB ratio suggest he may struggle initially against big leaguers. Still, in terms of raw talent he’s among the best infield prospects in baseball. And let’s focus on the truly important thing here: “Rougned Odor” is an amazing name.
Third baseman Anthony Rendon is reportedly open to a contract extension with the Nationals, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post said Sunday. Rendon told reporters that he didn’t know if agent Scott Boras would discuss an extension with the club, contrary to previous reports confirming the two had already started that conversation.
Rendon, 27, is coming off of his best career year to date. He finished the 2017 season batting .301/.403/.533 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI through 605 plate appearances, good enough to earn him sixth place in NL MVP voting. He made his third postseason appearance after helping Nationals through the National League Division Series, and contributed a pair of extra-base hits before the team was eliminated by the Cubs in Game 5.
Rendon is still arbitration-eligible through 2019, but stands to receive a hefty payday once he enters free agency in 2020. While it stands to reason that the Nats would want to lock up a player who contributed a whopping 6.9 fWAR last year, making him the most valuable player on their roster, an extension appeals to Rendon as well. “Why not stay with one organization?” he said Sunday. The 2018 season will be his sixth with the team.