Jurickson Profar out of WBC
General manager Jon Daniels indicated Tuesday that Profar, 20, will come to spring training with a chance to compete for a roster spot.
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The Rangers would consider keeping Profar as a bench player if he is able to get decent playing time. If not, Profar, who has been told to prepare for anything, could start the 2013 campaign in Triple-A.
When asked whether Profar could play the outfield, Daniels responded: "Why not?"
"Our stance on Jurickson is that if he demonstrates he's one of the best 25 or the best nine and we're comfortable there's enough of an opportunity for him to play and that it doesn't hurt his progress," Daniels said. "I seem him long term as a shortstop or middle infielder. But he may take some balls out there as well. We'll see what happens."
Daniels said that regardless of what happens with Nelson Cruz and MLB's investigation into a clinic in Miami that reportedly sold performance-enhancing drugs, the club has to find right-field options because of the potential for injury. The club could elect to try Mike Olt in right field and, like with Profar, told him earlier this offseason to be prepared for anything. Mitch Moreland is another candidate, perhaps even Leonys Martin if the club is comfortable with Craig Gentry as a regular center fielder.
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By not participating in the WBC -- Profar was on the provisional roster for the Netherlands -- he can spend the entire spring training in Surprise, Ariz., attempting to earn a spot on the big league club. Had Profar played for the Dutch, he might have missed at least a week of camp because their pool-play games are in Taiwan in early March.
Profar became just the third teenager in history (since 1876) to hit a home run in his first big league at-bat, doing so this past September. He ended up 3-for-17 in nine games with the Rangers after hitting .281 with 14 homers and 62 RBIs in 126 games for Double-A Frisco.
He said a few weeks ago that he's spent the offseason getting stronger.
"Both my upper body and my legs," Profar said. "I want to get stronger so it can help all of my game."
Profar's winter-ball stay in the Dominican Republic was cut short after he experienced right forearm soreness. He said he's fine and prepared for spring training.