The Texas Rangers are bringing up shortstop Jurickson Profar, the top overall prospect in major league baseball, per Baseball America’s latest ranking.
Profar will be making the leap straight from Double-A ball, where he was hitting .281/.368/.452 with 14 home runs and 16 stolen bases. Profar can play shortstop and third base, and he was the subject of trade talks this past deadline, with Philadelphia Phillies fans even wondering if they could get Profar in a deal for Cole Hamels.
Profar was deemed as untouchable though, and he combines with top prospect Mike Olt to give the Rangers two infielders that can be a big part of their future. Profar is just 19 years old but like Mike Trout, he’s an impact player that a team can build around, and the Rangers should be playing him regularly in the major leagues by 2013.
If Profar does well enough down the stretch here, he may even make the team’s official 25-man postseason roster.
The only problem with the Rangers’ current infield is that there’s really not that much room for Profar – second baseman Ian Kinsler is signed through the 2017 season at a very team-friendly deal worth not even $100 million, shortstop Elvis Andrus is signed through 2014, and third baseman Adrian Beltre is locked up for another three years at over $10 million per season.
It might make sense to eventually move a guy like Beltre to first base to prolong his career, although he’s quite competent himself defensively at the hot corner. Once Michael Young’s deal expires after 2013, that’s another opening, although Young has been playing more DH than anything else. If the Rangers let Josh Hamilton walk this offseason, there’s always the option that one of those players could move to the outfield, if that would work out.