Texas Ten: Jurickson Profar a starter?
Today's question: Should Jurickson Profar play every day?
He's the No. 1 prospect in the system -- and the No. 1 prospect in the country, according to several publications -- and the Rangers must decide if he's ready to shed that label and become a young major leaguer.
Profar came up in September to get a taste of the big leagues and the 19-year-old made an immediate impression. He homered in his first at-bat on Sept. 2, becoming just the third teenager to hit his first career home run in his first career big league at-bat since 1876 and the youngest to do it in the AL. He was the first player born in 1993 to play in the majors and the first teenager to play for the Rangers since Ivan Rodriguez in 1991.
Kim Klement/US PresswireMoving Jurickson Profar into the starting lineup is a possibility, but other changes would have to occur for that to take place.
With the Rangers trying to hang onto a division lead (you know how that ended), manager Ron Washington went with his regulars a bunch, so Profar ended up in just nine games. He got 17 at-bats and had just three hits -- so only one after his debut. But that's a small sample size and the playing time was sporadic.
Profar hit .281 with 26 doubles, seven triples, 14 home runs, 62 RBIs, 76 runs scored and 16 stolen bases in 126 games with the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders in 2012. He showed talent defensively and an ability to drive the ball to the gaps. He's got speed and isn't afraid to use it.
The club has had to make this kind of decision before. Texas decided to make Elvis Andrus the starting shortstop in 2009 despite the fact that he'd never played above Double-A. Andrus hit better in Frisco -- .285 -- and had 10 fewer homers and three more RBIs. Of course, Andrus had way more stolen bases, too. But the Rangers felt Andrus had the potential to start for them for a long time and wanted him to get the experience in 2009 as the club was growing and beginning to show signs of being a competitive team.
The difference for Profar is that the club is competitive now. Making him a starter in 2013 also complicates how the rest of the infield -- and outfield, for that matter -- shakes out. The team could try to trade Andrus, something we discussed last week, or possibly move Ian Kinsler to the outfield and put Profar at second base.
The other option is to start Profar in the minors again and see how it goes. But as high as scouts are on Profar, I think it's going to be tempting to see what Profar can do given a chance to play every day. He could be a spark at the top or very bottom of the order, depending on how Washington wants to use him, and he could give the club some flexibility in the future with Andrus' contract expiring in two years.
I want to see what the guy can do and I think Kinsler could play the outfield if Andrus is still here. But perhaps that's more my curiosity than anything else. Still, I'm not sure what more Profar can do in the minors. Let's see what he's got in the big leagues, even though that requires some ripple effects.
What do you think? Should Profar be given an everyday role in 2013? Or should he start in the minors and then come up at some point?
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss a hypothetical Jurickson Profar for Cliff Lee trade, how he would handle Profar's playing time with the Rangers and more.
Play Podcast Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus joins Galloway & Company to discuss having Scott Boras as his agent, his new contract and having Jurickson Profar in the lineup.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
- There are no games scheduled for today.