Odorizzi on cusp of big leagues with Royals
Jake Odorizzi dressed at a prime locker in the Royals’ clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday. He could get used to this.
“I’ll take a locker in the bathroom, if that’s where they want to put me,” Odorizzi said. “For right now, I’m just happy to be here.”
The 22-year-old right-handed Royals prospect pitched for a U.S. squad that also included Brewers farmhand Scooter Gennett in the All-Star Futures Game, an annual showcase of Minor League talent that kicks-off All-Star festivities.
Odorizzi still has some Minor League seasoning to do before moving to Kauffman Stadium for good, but he’s close. Between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, he is 9-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 starts and one relief appearance. He’s 5-0 with a 2.83 ERA since a promotion to Omaha.
He was once bidding to make it to Miller Park, one of the Brewers’ top pitching prospects before the team shipped him to the Royals in a blockbuster trade for Zack Greinke. That was in December 2010, when the Brewers parted with four prime prospects — pitchers Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress, shortstop Alcides Escobar and center fielder Lorenzo Gain — to land Greinke and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt.
“It’s something that’s in the back of my mind,” Odorizzi said of that swap. “I can’t really think about it. I’m not going to be [Greinke] — he’s his own guy, and I don’t really want to be in his shadow. I’m just taking it as it comes to me, trying to make my own mark in the time I come up here.”
The Greinke comparisons started early; in stature and stuff, the two pitchers are similar.
“I didn’t focus too much on who they compared me to,” Odorizzi said. “I’m my own guy.”
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