Scouts and prospect mavens may talk highly of Rougned Odor's skills and abilities. His new manager, however, raves about a different tool -- his brain.
The Rangers' No. 5 prospect delivered three hits, including a triple, and scored a run in his Double-A debut as Frisco defeated San Antonio, 7-2, on Thursday.
Batting second for the RoughRiders, Odor singled in his first two at-bats before tripling in the fifth inning, coming around to score on Brett Nicholas' groundout. He ended the night 3-for-5 and also took part in a double play.
"To have someone like Rougned out there, who I saw in Spring Training, he's just a gamer," manager Steve Buechele said. "He's a blast to watch. The kid, he can hit. He knows the game, so he'll do whatever it takes to get the job done.
"Tonight's game is a perfect example and it goes unnoticed. He broke up a double play in the first inning, and because he did, we scored three runs. No one is going to see that in the box score. He does the little things; he'll do the big things obviously. He's got a little power for not a big guy, he runs the bases well, he plays solid defense, he's just a good baseball player."
Prior to being promoted, Odor was batting .303 with 65 runs scored with 27 stolen bases in 99 games for Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach. The 19-year-old second baseman is the youngest player in the Texas League, something that might concern some, but not Buechele.
"I've seen him in Spring Training and I get the reports from Jason Wood in Myrtle Beach," the former Major Leaguer said. "I think everybody is in agreement that the kid can handle it, which is a testament to his maturity.
"He's got a baseball background, he's a baseball player and this is what he loves to do. He plays the game the right way, he's a competitior, all the things you want to see in a young kid. I don't think he'll be overmatched one bit."
Luis Sardinas, Texas' No. 2 prospect, joined his double-play partner on the move to Frisco, singling in five trips to the plate in his debut. The 20-year-old shortstop also started a double play for the RoughRiders.
"Luis is a lot like Rougned in the sense that he knows the game, he's a very smart player," Beuchele said. "Sardinas is kind of more of a glider, the smooth type of player where Rougned is more of a grinder. [He] goes out there and gets his uniform dirty. They're good kids who are very talented and I'm glad I get a chance to see them, at least for a month."
Joe Benson was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Chih-Hsien Chen hit an RBI double for the RoughRiders.
Arlett Mavare (2-2) gave up two runs on five hits and struck out four over five innings to earn the win for Frisco.
Reymond Fuentes smacked an RBI double for the Missions.