Minor league insider: Frisco prospects work well together despite contrasting styles.

Posted Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
Elsewhere on the farm Triple A Round Rock: The Express ends its season Monday with no hope of a postseason berth. It could, however, finish with a winning record, going into Saturday’s game 72-69 with three games left. Double A Frisco: Manager Steve Buechele will complete his fourth season with the Rough Riders on Monday, and has had success. The former Rangers third baseman has always stated that his goal is to get back to the big leagues in some capacity, and interviewed for the Rockies’ managing position last off-season. Does he feel he’s close to returning? “I don’t know,” he said. “What is the next step? But, like I’ve always said, I’m like a player and my goal is to get back to the big leagues.” High A Myrtle Beach: The Pelicans got a boost for their Carolina League playoff run with the additions of catcher Jorge Alfaro and left-hander Cody Ege on Saturday. Myrtle Beach clinched its third consecutive postseason berth by winning the first half.

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Steve Buechele felt spoiled last season by running out highly touted infield prospects Jurickson Profar, Mike Olt and Leury Garcia on a nightly basis for the majority of the season.

The Rough Riders manager didn’t have that luxury this season with the elite infield prospects in the lower levels of the farm system. Eventually, though, Buechele got two of the top prospects in the organization to form his middle infield for the final month of the season.

Shortstop Luis Sardinas and second baseman Rougned Odor were promoted to Frisco on Aug. 1, and have shown signs that they belong at that level. Both are young, talented and viewed as future big-league players, although the two Venezuelans go about their business two distinct ways.

Sardinas plays with a more laid-back style, letting the game come to him, while Odor is what baseball people like to call “a gamer,” gritty and tough. You only need to watch one game to see the difference.

Mike Daly, the Rangers’ director of international scouting, helped sign both players as teenagers and knew their styles of play from Day One.

“Sardinas wasn’t the best practice-type player, but when you put him in games and in game situations, he really stepped it up,” Daly said. “There were some concerns over the body if he’d be able to hold up, but he has and is a very skilled player. He likes to play and he loves when the lights come on. He’s very, very talented, a switch-hitting legitimate shortstop.”

Odor, meanwhile, comes from a baseball family. His dad and uncles were players, and he inherited their competitive genes.

Daly said Odor played shortstop and switch-hit as a teenager, but it became fairly evident that he would be better suited for second base and batting only left-handed. The intangibles, though, are what stood out the most.

“He has unbelievable fire to play,” Daly said. “Some people call it cocky, but it’s a good type of cocky. He’s good and he knows he’s good.”

Said Odor: “I just try to play hard every day and go 100 percent all the time.”

Sardinas and Odor both had goals of reaching the Double A level this year, and have proved they belong despite their youth. Sardinas turned 20 during the season, and Odor is only 19.

Sardinas had only a .242 average from the leadoff spot with the Rough Riders going into Saturday, but Buechele has been impressed by his ability to work counts and get on base. Sardinas has played better of late, too, evident by the .289 average over his last 10 games.

Odor, batting second, was hitting .288 with Frisco going into Saturday, including .310 over his last 10 games.

“For a 19-year-old, the way Rougned swings the bat is exceptional,” Buechele said.

There’s no question that Sardinas and Odor are two intriguing players up the middle in the Rangers’ organization even though they have different approaches to the game.

“That pair together at Myrtle and now Frisco has been fun to watch,” said Jake Krug, the Rangers’ director of minor league operations. “One guy plays all-out at 100 mph, while the other is more of a glider on the field. But they are each very good in their own way.”

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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