The top prospect for the Texas Rangers, Jurickson Profar, is on his way from Double-A Frisco to join the big-league club for the first time. The call-up coincided with MLB rosters expanding from 25 to 40 players on September 1st. Also joining Profar in the move to the majors are Triple-A members Tanner Scheppers, Martin Perez, Yoshinori Tateyama, Leonys Martin, and Brandon Snyder, all of which have already spent some time with the big league club in 2012.
For Profar, he becomes another utility infielder option for the Rangers. He is a shortstop by nature, but has played 25 games at second base for Frisco this season as well. In the past week, he came off the bench as a late-innings replacement, seemingly to prepare him for the role that he might fill with Texas upon a September call-up. Profar is a switch-hitter who hit .281/.368/.452 with 14 home runs as a 19-year old in Double-A this season. He also walked almost as many times as he struck out, which shows phenomenal approach for such a young player.
It is unlikely that Profar sees much playing time with Texas this month prior to the Rangers clinching the AL West title. As he has demonstrated with Mike Olt, manager Ron Washington is in no rush to throw young, high profile prospects right into the fray, choosing to trust the veterans on the club instead. The Rangers lead the Oakland Athletics by four games, with 31 to play. The magic number for Texas is currently at 28. Once that number falls to zero and the division is captured for a third straight year, the odds of Profar, or any other young player seeing more significant playing time certainly increase. Although, after clinching the 2011 AL West with five games to play, Washington only gave Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler a combined three days off to end the season.
There is a possibility that Profar, or any of these September call-ups could wind up on the Rangers postseason roster. Although the rule is that a player must be a member of the team’s active roster prior to September 1st to be eligible, there are exceptions to that rule. The Rangers made another move today to put Tyler Tufts on the 40-man roster, and simultaneously putting him on the 15-day disabled list. This gives the Rangers the option of putting a September call-up on the playoff roster as a replacement for Tufts, because he is on the disabled list. It is a couple of seemingly trivial procedural moves that are made to get around the rule, but the Rangers certainly aren’t the only team making those kinds of moves.
Profar becomes the latest teenager to make it to “the show” in 2012, joining Bryce Harper. Rangers fans will get to catch a glimpse of the future in watching Profar play. It’s unlikely that the results he provides are very awe-inspiring at all. After all, in 2011 Mike Trout was called up as a 19-year old and struggled, hitting .220/.281/.390. No matter what kind of results Profar delivers, he will be an exciting player to watch, and will bring a flashy smile to go along with his flashy play.
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