New York Yankees: Rougned Odor becomes a Yankee in a big way

William Parlee

On April 6, 2021, the New York Yankees trade with the Texas Rangers for Rougned Odor (O-door), but last night in Tampa, Florida, he became a Yankee. In the 10th inning of the game against the Tampa Bay Rays, he became a hero, hitting the game’s winning hit. The game went into the 10th inning, tied at 4 apiece. Odor was a breath of fresh air after the Yankees lost the first two games of the set.

Aaron Judge was on second (man on second rule after 9) with AaronHicks at the plate at the top of the tenth. Hicks was hit by a pitch going to first. Two on no outs. Mike Tauchman bunted, and the runners moved to second and third. Gleyber Torres had a slow roller, and Judge was called out trying to reach home. “Rougie” Odor, with men on the corners and two outs, became a Yankee hero in his first game as a New York Yankee; he popped one into no man’s land in center that scored Hicks for the Yankee lead. Gary Sanchez drove in another run, and Gio Urshela drove in two more, and just like that, it was 8-4 Yankees. At the bottom of the inning, Albert Abreu took to the mound and held the game for the New York Yankees.

With New York Yankee fans knowing little to nothing about this still young man, let’s find out his origins and what got him to the Bronx. Rougned Roberto Odor was born on February 3, 1994, in Maracaibo, Venezuela.  He has been playing baseball since the age of 2. [1]. He previously played for the Texas Rangers from 2014 to 2020. The Rangers traded Odor to the Yankees on April 6, 2021. [2]

After three years in the Texas Rangers, minor league system, the Rangers promoted Odor to the major leagues on May 8, 2014. Odor finished the year hitting a .259 batting average, 39 runs, 14 doubles, 9 home runs, 4 stolen bases, and 48 RBIs in 386 at-bats over 110 games. In 2015 Odor was the opening day second baseman, but he struggled mightily and was demoted but was shortly called back up. He finished the season hitting .261, with 16 home runs, 61 RBIs, and 54 runs scored, but he also led the league in errors.

In 2016 he finished the year with a .271 batting average, 33 home runs. In 2017 he did something few players have ever done; in the season opener against the Cleveland Indians, Odor hit two home runs in his first two at-bats of the season. During the last few years, 2018-20, he had a slash line of .209/.273/.425 with 58 home runs over the span. Other than a relatively low batting average, and even though he hits a lot of home runs, he also strikes out frequently. In acquiring Odor, the Yankees may have seen something that the Rangers haven’t seen and can find a way to fix that.

A lefty bat with power is a dangerous thing for Yankee opponents at Yankee Stadium; hopefully, the Yankees will find a way to use Odor with the best results. Last night they did that. The Yankees will have him through the 2022 season and will pay him $570K annually. The contract that the Rangers will mostly pay has an option for the 2023 season at $13.5 million with a $3 million buy-out.

On a personal note, his nickname is “Rougie.” Odor is deeply involved in horses and the sport of toros coleados. His involvement in horses started when he was a child visiting his mother’s family on weekends, who had horses. His long-range plan is to build a horse farm in North Texas and move his entire family from Venezuela.