Perhaps no prospect enters the 2013 season more highly anticipated than Jurickson Profar, but if you listen to what the Texas Rangers are saying, he won’t even be entering the 2013 season in the majors with the rest of his Rangers teammates.
According to general manager Jon Daniels, the Rangers only plan to keep Profar in the majors if there are full-time at-bats available for him, which at the moment, it does not appear there are.
Profar, a natural shortstop, clearly isn’t playing there as long as Elvis Andrus is still in town. He can handle second base, but Ian Kinsler is there. There has been talk of moving Kinsler to first base, but Daniels’ announcement about Profar came with a vote of confidence for current first baseman Mitch Moreland.
Barring a trade, things aren’t looking good for Profar, at least for any immediate fantasy returns.
If you are in some kind of keeper league, especially a deep league with a number of keeper spots, don’t let this diminish your opinion of Profar. He’s still going to be a stud. But for the 2013 season, we simply don’t know when he’ll get the chance to do so.
The good news is that he probably already has eligibility at shortstop in your league, and should get eligibility at another position, likely second base, within a few weeks of his arrival in the majors. That’s a plus to your lineup flexibility, and even at age 20, he should rank in among the top-10 second baseman in the majors.
But back to his arrival. Profar’s value in single-season leagues is tied directly to his arrival in the majors, and his draft position in your league will be affected the same way. Keep an eye on this story this spring, because once a talented player like Profar gets a ball and glove in his hand in spring training, people’s minds begin to change.
Rangers manager Ron Washington is an old-school guy, and while he’s loyal to his veteran players, he also has a soft spot for players who play the game the right way and can do things other baseball players can’t do. Profar is one of those players.
The minute Profar gets to spring training and makes a play on a ball at second base that Ian Kinsler can’t quite get to any more, I’d expect Washington to begin to salivate over the possibility of having Profar in his every day lineup.
We don’t know how much say Washington will get in the decision, but this story isn’t over. Keep an eye on it in spring training, and if Profar breaks camp with the Rangers, you can feel comfortable drafting him to use as your starting second baseman or shortstop this season.