In the case of the 2014 Texas Rangers, there was opportunity and at bats for ... pretty much everybody.
When Jurickson Profar went down with his shoulder injury, it forced the Rangers to promote Rougned Odor from his third-grade little league team to the majors. Odor is actually 20, but the 114 games he played in '14 didn't break him. These games and this experience will give the Rangers the everyday second baseman they thought they had in Profar.
He struggled with plate discipline in the 417 at bats he had, but he showed enough to think he can do this. Odor batted .259 with 14 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs, 48 RB. He also whiffed 71 times and walked 17.
This is not too dissimilar to the beginnings of one Michael Young. In 2001, the Rangers were awful despite a lineup that featured Ivan Rodriguez, Alex "That's Not My Syringe" Rodriguez, Rafael "That's Not My Syringe" Palmeiro, etc.
Young was pushed into the lineup as a 24-year-old rookie. In 106 games and 429 at bats, he batted .249 with 18 doubles, four triples, 11 home runs and 49 RBI. He struckout 91 times.
Eventually, Young figured it out and became one of the top five most important players in this franchise's history.
"The opportunities they got are very similar because of circumstances," Rangers interim manager Tim Bogar told me. "I don't know if Odor is in Michael Young's category yet - you know what I am saying? Back then, I don't think anybody expected Michael Young to do what he did."
No one did. In 2002, new Rangers GM John Hart wanted to deal Young, and reluctantly agreed to keep him there. He liked Young, but he wasn't his guy.
"Odor has a huge upside," Bogar said.
Odor is rated as a far better prospect than Young ever was. Now, like Young, despite less than ideal circumstances behind his promotion he showed he can do it.
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