Rouglas Odor is amidst his third season as the hitting coach for the Columbus Clippers. The interview with him a week ago seemingly confirmed one thing in particular: The mental side of baseball is pivotal to player development.
Rouglas Odor provided some in-depth answers on baseball topics that I honestly wasn’t sure he’d dig deep into. I hope what he had to say is as entertaining and interesting to all of you as it was to me when we had the chance to talk for the first time.
I asked Odor if there was any sort of advice he gives players when they’re striking out too much. Here’s some juicy commentary he had on the topic at hand:
If you’re thinking ‘I don’t wanna strike out’ you will strike out. Sometimes if a player’s striking out too much it’s not with two strikes that he’s striking out. Most of the time it’s with strike one that he’s letting it go and it’s a good pitch to swing (at) and he’s not swinging at it. And all of a sudden he’s 0-2 or 1-2 right away…We’re here for them…We’re here to help them out.
Later I asked Odor if there was any anecdote that helped him to become the coach he is today. Surprisingly he brought up a story from back in the day when he was teammates with Manny Ramirez in Double A.
Manny Ramirez. Long time ago. We were teammates in Double-A Akron. Used to be Canton, Ohio. And I saw him striking out four times and he was the number one number-one prospect. So I saw him as a teammate striking out four times and, I mean, right after the game it was over for him. So I wanted to know why (it) was so easy for him to forget about four strikeouts. Where for some other players (it took) like a week to get those four punch outs out of their mind. And. And I was one of them… He said ‘hey guys you know what. Don’t worry about it. Somebody’s gonna have to pay tomorrow’. So the very next day he went I think two for four with a home run, a double and three RBIs. And I told myself ‘wow’. I mean this guy’s gonna have a bright future because he knew how to handle adversity…He knew that striking out, bad moments were part of the game. Where for other players they also knew it, but they didn’t know how to handle it. And I think that’s a big difference for a lot of successful players. They know they’re gonna fail. It’s just a matter of how are you gonna handle the adversity. And Manny dit it that day and I learned a lot from him that day.
The Cleveland Indians have had plenty of young impact hitters make the leap from Columbus to the majors in the past couple seasons. Rouglas Odor’s impact is hard to ignore.