DALLAS -- Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus grew up in the big leagues with Ian Kinsler to his left at second base. He got used to exactly how Kinsler wanted the ball fed to him on double plays, where he'd be positioned with certain hitters, how he'd play certain bounces and how best to communicate -- spoken and unspoken -- as they played together.
Now Kinsler is in Detroit and Andrus knows that Jurickson Profar is penciled in as his new double-play partner.
"We did play quite a few games this year and I know how talented he is," Andrus said. "It's going to be a little different for him. It's going to be up to him to go out there and practice as much as he can at second. He's got Wash to help him. It's going to be easier for him. He's a great kid and has a lot of talent. He's going to be fine."
Washington has stressed that Profar must earn the job in spring training, but has spoken about Profar's maturity and how quickly he's learning the game.
"The kid has aptitude, along with ability," Washington said. "Maybe having a chance out there on a daily basis will change and make us see the things that people say he's capable of doing. He had the toughest job in the game last year, trying to be a utility player at 20 years old. That's not easy to do. I think he did a lot of good things to help us win ball games and now he has to do something to win a job every day. The opportunity will be there."
Profar hit .234 with six homers and 26 RBIs in 286 at-bats for the Rangers in 2013. He was shuffled to all different positions and didn't ever find a consistent spot.
Now he's got the opportunity to play every day. And Andrus has the chance to help Profar adjust. It should make for a busy and educational spring training.