The blockbuster November trade that saw the Texas Rangers ship long-time second baseman and fan-favorite Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers for ball-crushing one-bagger Prince Fielder never would have been made if the Texas brass did not feel young-phenom Jurickson Profar was ready for primetime. Make no mistake, the Dutch-Caribbean kid is ready for liftoff.
A shortstop by trade, who the Rangers plan to implement at second base, Profar will head into 2014 as an everyday player for the first time. However, it won’t be long before Profar is recording 6-3’s in the scorebook. He is too talented to not get his shot at the infield’s premium position. Elvis Andrus will be forced to swallow his pride.
The loss of Kinsler would be a substantial one for any club, but as the season rolls along Profar’s across the board talent and production will have Rangers fans focusing on the future. The switch-hitter is as versatile as it comes with the speed to hit leadoff, the bat control to hit second and the emerging power to eventually hit third. Profar was even originally scouted as an upper-tier pitching prospect. This kid’s middle name should be breakout.
The start of the 2014 Cactus League is almost here and with the red-carpet pulled out, there is no other Ranger ready to prove he belongs.
Don’t let Profar’s 2013 major league production fool you, as he never got a chance to cement himself. He started only 75 of the 118 games after his promotion from the Triple-AAA Round Rock Express.
When you examine his minor league performance, you quickly realize Texas is on the verge of something special. Profar’s 2012 is a stat-stuffer; 480 at-bats, 14 HR, 62 RBI, 16 SB, seven triples, 66 walks, .368 OBP while Slugging at .452 clip.
Profar is a fantasy owner’s dream and a franchise-type player. The scary thing is that he’s just getting started.