As Opening Day nears there will be tons of proclamations on which players are bound for stellar seasons.
With the season being as long as it is, players will have their good streaks as well as their bad ones.
However, going into the 2020 year the Rangers have two guys flying under the radar due to all of the new acquisitions. While the Rangers have made great moves this offseason by adding better pitchers and others to the surrounding cast.
We can’t discount players like Rougned Odor and Danny Santana who look to improve in their roles.
After Delino Deshields was traded to the Cleveland Indians, that left an opening in the outfield for the Rangers. Danny will be taking on his new role at center field with great confidence. In 2019 Santana played 27 games at CF where he was able to get his 2nd most putouts (54) of his career. Now that he’ll have more time at his new position, Santana could look to build from last year. Even though he played most of his games at 1st base, Danny has flashed the potential of being a reliable outfielder. Over the past 6 seasons, he’s logged over 1000 innings from center field, giving him a helpful edge to getting more comfortable this season.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Rangers will be ecstatic to see Danny continue to progression from last year’s breakout season. Twice in Sanatana’s career has he played over 100 games. Once in 2014, and the other being in 2019 where he averaged a shocking .283 batting average.
To go along with that he also had a .324 on-base percentage which is the 2nd highest of his career. As just a cherry on top, Santana also bombed 28 home runs last year, which is more than all of his previous years… COMBINED. Having a valuable bat-like Danny’s could help bring this offense to a whole new level. Now in year 2 with the Texas Rangers, Danny will look to keep moving forward and helping the Rangers reach their goals.
Odor is coming off another year in which he hasn’t lived up to the expectations built around his contract. He finished the season with a low .205 batting percentage that makes people cringe knowing he’s signed for the next 3 years.
On a positive note, Odor had the 2nd highest home runs of his career with 30 and snatched over 90 RBIs this past season. Odor acknowledges that he hasn’t played up to par, and this off-season he set out to make some changes.
During the winter, Rougned sought out advice from Victor Martinez who was a 5-time All-star player that batted .295 during his 16-year career. Victor mentioned to Odor about simply having “discipline at the plate” and not panicking when down 0-2 on the count. It may seem like a minor thing to do in order to improve, but as the saying goes “Its the little things that matter“.Having someone like Victor Martinez to mentor Odor could help in many ways. This season will be about tightening up some loose ends and proving to himself that he belongs on this roster.
As a 2nd baseman, Odor has been a steady glove for the past years. His assists numbers plummeted last season as he finished with only 294 (2nd lowest of his career). However, Chris Woodward has gone on to say that “players will have less rope” in the upcoming year which makes it that much more of an urgency for Odor to improve. Having your back against the wall brings out the best in players like Odor.
Going into the new season with a new mindset could help turn things around for Odor. He’s already looking to be in better shape as the season approaches which has all arrows pointing up for him this year.
All of Rangers Nation will be anticipating a rise from these young players. Both Odor and Santana have shown promise somewhere in their careers. Now is the perfect time for them to identify as key components to this team and become part of something great.
Overall this season looks to be heading in a better direction than it has in past years. Maybe its the new stadium, or maybe its some new faces in town.
Whatever the case may be, baseball season is near and the Texas Rangers are in for an exciting season!