Is It That Crazy?

Profar
The Texas Rangers have three really good middle infielders that are all under team control for the foreseeable future.  It isn’t so much a problem as it is a luxury that appropriate asset allocation does not afford.

It’s been a “problem” for a little while now.  It was a problem at the trade deadline in 2012, it was a problem during Spring Training, and while Ian Kinsler might be rehabbing at the moment, it is a problem right now.

There has been no shortage of opinions on what to do.  

First, there was talk of moving Ian Kinsler to first base, filling the Rangers infield with former shortstops and replacing Mitch Moreland’s bat in the lineup.  Even before the Rangers second baseman expressed his preference to stay at his current position, the argument against the move usually circled around positional value.  Would Ian Kinsler’s bat play well at first base, a position that is usually filled with a more powerful bat?

Since the struggles of David Murphy and Nelson Cruz began, attempts to place Profar in the everyday lineup once again revolve around Kinsler, this time with the idea that Kinsler could shift to the outfield after Murphy and Cruz are [presumably] gone.

There have been lots of ideas that surround trading Jurickson Profar, the consensus #1 prospect in all of baseball.  Some of those ideas are better than others.

I’m not totally convinced either way on whether the Rangers want to trade their young upcoming star.  Sure, they’ve kept him at shortstop in the minor leagues despite signing up their All-Star shortstop to a 10-year deal, but it isn’t like Jon Daniels doesn’t have Miami Marlins GM Michael Hill’s phone number.  Are they waiting on the right deal, or are they motivated to trade him at all?

Perhaps the Profar situation is fun to talk about because the conversation so frequently leads to more questions than answers, but I have more questions about the ideas currently presented.

What makes us think that Ian Kinsler can make such a painless shift to the outfield?

If Miami wasn’t willing to part with Stanton this offseason, would a few months really change both teams’ opinions on the value of the players they’d be parting with?

When Profar [maybe] gets sent down after Kinsler returns from the DL, what position will he play?  What does that tell us about the organizations plans for him, if anything?

I’ve got one more question, and maybe it is a crazy one.

What would it hurt to see if Profar could play CF?  Just, to see if he could do it?

So much comes naturally to him – he taught himself to switch hit after turning pro (I can’t get over that). What if he could do it?  The positional value of a second baseman that can hit like Kinsler isn’t much different than the positional value of a centerfielder who can hit like Profar.  Sure, it would spend some time with Profar that could otherwise be used by other prospects in center field, and it would be taking time away from Profar improving at his most natural position.  But isn’t it just as crazy to ask Kinsler, whose innings are undoubtedly all going to be coming at the major league level this year (outside of rehab assignments) to learn a new position in one offseason?

I don’t expect the Rangers to do this, and I have every confidence that the solution the front office settles upon will likely be better than this one, but is it that crazy of an idea?

The centerfield idea aside, it will certainly be interesting to see where Jurickson Profar plays his AAA innings this year (if he does, in fact, play any).

Robert Pike is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Robert.Pike@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @Bob_Pike
Robert Pike

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