At first glance, there’s not really much in common between the Dallas Stars’ Antoine Roussel and Texas Rangers’ second base prospect Rougned Odor. Roussel stands 6’0” before the added height of skates, and hails from France and Quebec. Odor is listed at 5’11”, but his stance in the batters’ box can make him appear shorter, and was signed by the Rangers out of Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela.
When you start looking at their game, and at their personality within the game, the similarities emerge. Odor once tried to fight the entire Vancouver Canadians short-season team after a comment was made for a wide slide, making Roussel not the only one to have introduced himself painfully to a Canadian team. Both Odor and Roussel are known for their mouths, chattering at both teammates and opponents alike, throwing compliments and insults around in multiple languages. Their respective leagues know them, and neither Roussel or Odor are reluctant to stare down an official.
It’s not just their willingness to get under opponents’ skin that makes them similar, though. Both Odor and Roussel are valued team members, chemistry guys who have big parts in the clubhouse and locker room. They’re both talented, and hard workers who want to contribute offensively and defensively. They also are both fan favorites, with Roussel sweaters and shirseys flying off the shelves, and Odor a name on many Rangers’ fans tongues, despite being only in double-A. Their coaches speak highly of them and their abilities, and both will probably contribute to their respective top-league teams for years to come.
For the baseball-only fans: Roussel has played a large part in the Stars’ journey so far, after arriving in hockey’s “big leagues” last year as a raw but talented left wing more known for his energy than his scoring touch. In this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, Roussel has three assists and has been instrumental in causing reactionary play from the Anaheim Ducks, creating opportunities for the Stars to tie the series back up.
And for hockey people: Though Odor hasn’t had the offensive results he had when he arrived in Frisco at the end of last season, his bat and power still have the potential for major league impact, and his defense at second could possibly play there now. He’s consistently one of the more exciting players to watch in Frisco, as at almost any moment he could crush a ball, hit a walk-off single, or display the most swag since Fernando Tatis.
Though one’s sport originated in the dead of winter and the other in heat of summer, Antoine Roussel and Rougned Odor make their teams more fun for Dallas-area fans to watch, and should provide both skill and entertainment in the future.
Kate Morrison is a recent Baylor graduate currently working as a freelance writer. She likes minor league ballparks, music and the nickname 'Roogie.' You can follow her on Twitter at @unlikelyfanatic.