Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Moment No. 8: Jurickson Profar's debut
By Richard Durrett
Editor's Note: Before we shift our complete focus to the 2013 season, let's take a quick look back at 10 memorable moments -- games, signings, events -- from the 2012 campaign. By memorable, we mean both good and bad moments.
Even before 2012, Jurickson Profar had created buzz as a tremendous prospect working his way through the minor league system. That buzz reached a crescendo in 2012 as he put together solid numbers at Double-A Frisco and was considered one of the top prospects in the league. It didn't hurt that he hit a home run and played well in the Futures Game a few days before the All-Star Game in Kansas City. There were plenty of scouts and national baseball writers in attendance and that put Profar in the front of everyone's minds a few weeks before the trade deadline.
Jurickson Profar started his major league career off with a bang, homering in his first at-bat.
The Rangers front office listens to anything and everything, but they certainly weren't ready to deal Profar unless an unbelievable offer came. And when September rolled around, there was little doubt that it was time to see what Profar could do in the big leagues and at least give him a taste of life at the highest level.
The 19-year-old joined the Rangers in Cleveland on Sept. 1 and debuted the next day when Ian Kinsler was scratched with lower back stiffness. Profar became the first player born in 1993 to appear in the majors (19 years, 195 days old) and the first teenager to play in a game since Pudge Rodriguez in 1991.
In his first at-bat, Profar belted a home run (on the fourth pitch) off Cleveland starter Zach McAllister. That made Profar just the third teenager in big league history (since 1896) to homer in his first career at-bat and the second-youngest to do it. Profar was the first Rangers player to homer in his first career at-bat in Washington/Texas franchise history and the first since Brant Alyea in 1965.
Profar wasn't done, though. He also had a double in his next at-bat, becoming the first teenager with two extra-base hits in his first MLB game since Johnny Callison did it for the Chicago White Sox in 1958.
Profar, of course, got a shaving cream pie to the face after the game. He added a go-ahead RBI double in his second career start on Sept. 8 at Tampa Bay and, according to baseball-reference.com, was the only teenager since at least 1918 to have multiple games with an extra-base hit and an RBI within his first three career games.
Profar finished his brief big-league stint with a .176 average (3-for-17) with two RBIs and four strikeouts. He batted .281 with 14 homers and 62 RBIs to go along with 16 stolen bases in 126 games for Double-A Frisco in 2012.