BP organizational watch: Rangers SS
September, 23, 2010
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus is putting together his "org watch" series and included the Rangers this week. You can read the entire story here (if you're an ESPN Insider). He focused on the shortstop position for Texas. Here's part of what he had to say:
Elvis Andrus has turned into an established big league shortstop. He's also just 22. He has little power, though, and the Rangers have three young guys who could potentially spell him down the road. The most advanced of the three is just 19 years old, yet already has a year in the full-season leagues under his belt. Dominican Leury Garcia hit just .262/.307/.323 for Low-A Hickory, but he makes consistent contact, and knows how to use his tiny frame to his advantage when working the count. His size bothers many scouts, but at the same time he's a plus-plus runner who stole 47 bases in just 89 games for the Crawdads, and he can be a spectacular, although highly erratic defender who simply needs more maturity in his game.
The shortstop in the system generating the most attention is Jurickson Profar, a 17-year-old native of Curacao who debuted with a .250/.323/.373 in the college-heavy Northwest League. One of the reasons Profar signed with the Rangers last year ($1.55 million bonus) is that he wanted to play shortstop when many teams preferred him on the mound. Mature beyond his years, Profar has a highly advanced approach was well and the instincts and actions of a nearly big-league-ready defender. For many, he just needs to harness his tools, but like Andrus, he could be a big league product at a very young age.
One of the busiest teams in the international market, the Rangers didn't stop signing shortstops last year when they inked Profar, as during the same signing period they inked Venezuelan Luis Sardinas for $1.2 million. Like Profar, Sardinas is just 17 years old and eons away from the big leagues, but the switch-hitter impressed during his pro debut with a .311/.363/.350 line in the Arizona Complex League. While lacking Profar's fundamentals and instincts, Sardinas is a potentially flashier defender -- but like Garcia and Profar, we're talking about children here, and the rate of attrition for players like these can be astonishing at times.