Sunday, September 2, 2012
Jurickson Profar shines in debut
ESPN.com news services
CLEVELAND -- Heralded Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar started his major league career in impressive fashion, belting a solo homer in his first career at-bat. Profar got the start in place of ailing second baseman Ian Kinsler was scratched from Texas' lineup Sunday.
Kinsler developed stiffness in his lower back Sunday and was replaced by the 19-year-old Profar at second base against the Cleveland Indians.
Batting ninth in the lineup, the switch-hitting Profar crushed a 2-1 pitch from Cleveland's Zach McAllister 391 feet over the wall in right field to give Texas a 1-0 lead in the third inning en route to an 8-3 victory.
Profar became the youngest active player in the majors, the first born in 1993. He is rated as baseball's top overall prospect, according to ESPN.com's Keith Law.
"I guess it's a pretty big thing," a smiling Profar said, his hair and neck covered in shaving cream from a celebratory "pie" administered by teammate Elvis Andrus.
"I was just a little bit nervous, but I'm with a lot of great players, so I just went out and played," Profar said.
Profar hit .281 with 14 homers and 62 RBIs at Double-A Frisco. He homered in the Futures Game in July in Kansas City during All-Star week.
Of his first home run in the big leagues, Profar said, "I was thinking, 'Go, go, go, go,' after I hit it." He was also able to get the souvenir ball back.
Profar doubled in his next at-bat, then was late to hit in the fifth. With Luis Martinez on first with a single, Profar wasn't even in the on-deck circle. Suddenly, he grabbed a bat, ran to the plate and flied out on the second pitch.
"Mother Nature called," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He got a couple hits and maybe his stomach realized what was happening."
Profar went 2 for 4 and became the third-youngest player in Rangers history behind pitchers David Clyde and Wilson Alvarez.
"This kid is not afraid," Washington said, who talked to Profar when Kinsler came up ailing.
"He asked me how many games I have played at second base," said Profar, who has played more at shortstop. "I told him and he said, 'OK, you're in the game, playing second.'
"I was kind of shocked, but I was also ready for it."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.