The Other Shortstop

Sardinas
I’ve been one of the guys in Twitterverse championing young Jurickson Profar. I see a switch-hitting shortstop that could play the position more than adequately at a fraction of the cost for Elvis. Along with my SDI buddy Daniel Allsup, we even wrote a manifesto on why trading Elvis this past winter was the smart thing to do.  
Alas, Jon Daniels did what only Jon Daniels could do and was able to get Elvis to give a proverbial middle finger to Boras and sign a team-friendly extension. This led young Daniel and me to go back to the drawing board and see what Profar could bring the Rangers in a trade. I was still on the fence about giving up the best prospect in the game, but lately I’ve begun to accept this as something that needs to be done.

Besides what Profar could bring back in a trade, why have I come to accept this fate?

His name is Luis Sardinas.

He is a switch-hitting shortstop from Venezuela who is three months younger than Profar. His glove profiles better than Profar’s, but lacks the offensive tools of Jurickson. Think of his ceiling as more of a switch-hitting Elvis Andrus (lazy comp). His floor projects as a MLB utility player if the bat doesn’t play out. At 150 pounds, his slight frame has led to injuries that caused his development to be slower than the phenom Profar (Sardinas has yet to play 100 games in a season).

Baseball Prospectus’ Jason Parks had this to say about Sardinas:

“Sardinas has even louder tools than his fellow July 2nd and organizational mate Jurickson Profar. The defense profiles as an easy 6 at the highest level, with big range, a strong arm, and the type of actions that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best in the minors.”

You can read the rest of Parks’ thoughts on Sardinas and Profar here.

That is heavy praise for Sardinas from a guy that has seen him in action since he became part of the Rangers organization. Parks and Baseball Prospectus have Sardinas as the 86th ranked prospect in MiLB.

Last fall, Fangraphs’ Mike Newman called Sardinas the “Best SS You’ve Never Heard of.” Check out the article.

We already know the Rangers organization has an embarrassment of riches, but many don’t understand to what level. To have two shortstops of their caliber in your system is a nice luxury. If the Rangers decide to trade Profar to help the team this season, it won’t deplete the farm system.

Luis Sardinas: Another reason for it to be a great time to be a Rangers fan.    

Eddie Middlebrook is the co-host of “Chin Music” and Junior Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Eddie.Middlebrook@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @emiddlebrook

Eddie Middlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook is Senior Writer for @ballparkbanter9 and @shutdowninning. Formerly with @wfaasports and @FoxSportsSW. @IBWAA member. Eddie can be found on Twitter @emiddlebrook.

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