Injury-free, Oduber adjusting to new level of competition

Right-handed hitter Randolph Oduber is making the step-by-step transition from low Single-A Hagerstown to high Single-A Potomac and getting adjusted to his new surroundings and new teammates.

Oduber said teammates Kevin Keyes, Michael Taylor and Wade Moore have developed good camaraderie working the Pfitzner Stadium outfield through the first month of the season.

“It is going really good,” Oduber said. “Our communication is really good right now. Every inning, we talk and every situation, we talk about it and what we are going to do. Who is going to catch that ball depends on the sun and the batter. We discuss each play during the game, and then review after the game.”

The 23-year old Oduber has connected on three homers and 11 RBIs while batting .224 through 26 games. The native Aruban hit .311 in 60 games last season with five homers and 26 RBIs, his season abbreviated because a severe hamstring injury. But Oduber was pleased to be able to start this season injury-free.

The 6-foot-3, 186 lb. Oduber has also transitioned well under new manager Brian Rupp after learning under Brian Daubach last season.

“(Rupp) is a fun guy,” Oduber said. “He gets you to stay relaxed on the field. He treats us like grown men, that is the biggest thing.

Although the P-Nats got off to a sluggish start, they are starting to gain a measure of momentum. After starting the season 6-11, the P-Nats have won six of their last 10 games to get within three games of the .500 mark (12-15). They are three-and-a-half games out of first place in the Northern Division behind Lynchburg.

“We are starting to get into a groove,” Oduber said. “Our pitchers are letting us stay in the game so we can do something. Pretty soon, it will be our time to picking it up and start hitting, try and give our pitchers a little bit of rest.”

It also is not lost on these young prospects how well the Nationals are playing through 28 games.

“We watch them every night,” Oduber said. “It is great when they are winning and we are winning. If we get done early, we go into the clubhouse and watch them and start screaming at the television. The whole organization is happy then.”

Oduber has played at three levels in the Nationals organization so far (starting at GCL Nationals in 2010) and has viewed first-hand how the team has been building to this point.

“You can see the improvement in the bigs, but also in the minors,” Oduber noted. “If something happens to one of the guys in the majors, one of the younger guys gets called up he is going to be ready to play.”

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