Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Jurickson Profar unsure about playing in WBC
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar said Wednesday that he’s undecided about playing in the World Baseball Classic. Profar, who turns 20 in February, was the top prospect in ESPN.com’s Keith Law’s midseason rankings last year.
Profar, who is on the provisional roster for the Netherlands, said he may want to stay in camp in hopes of showing he’s ready for a job in the big leagues.
“Maybe I’ve got a spot to make the team,” Profar said. “That’s why I’m thinking about it, to see where I’m at and what will happen.”
He could miss a week of spring training with the Dutch playing in Taiwan March 2-5 in pool play. Profar said he’d come to spring training and work out until he had to leave, should he choose to play.
The Rangers said earlier this month that they plan on having Ian Kinsler at second base and Mitch Moreland at first, meaning Profar would likely start the season in Triple-A Round Rock to get playing time every day. But the final decision on where Profar starts in 2013 won’t be made until later in spring training.
“If it’s like that, I just have to go there and play,” said Profar about going to Triple-A. “That’s it. There’s nothing I can do.”
Profar isn’t new to major international competitions. He played for Curacao in the Little League World Series in 2004 and 2005 as a pitcher. He helped his team win the championship in 2004, going 2-0 with a save in 12 1/3 innings pitched (nine walks, 19 strikeouts). He hit. 313 (5-for-16) with a double and five RBIs, as well.
“This would be bigger,” Profar said of the WBC.
But Profar, who in September became just the third teenager in baseball history (since 1876) to hit a home run in his first big league at-bat, is focused on getting ready for 2013. He said his biggest offseason goal was to get stronger.
“Both my upper body and my legs,” Profar said. “I want to get stronger so it can help all of my game.”
Profar was 3-for-17 in limited action in the final month of the major league season. He batted .281 with 14 homers and 62 RBIs with 66 walks and 79 strikeouts in 126 games for Double-A Frisco.
Profar went to winter ball in the Dominican Republic but was pulled from the league after experiencing soreness in his right forearm. He said he feels good now and is ready for the spring.