Prospect Countdown #1 – Jurickson Profar
Jurickson Profar is the top rated prospect in the Texas Rangers system. At only 19 years old, Profar already has scouts drooling over his talent. He is a 5’ 11”, 165 pound, switch hitting shortstop that finished the year at Hickory, a high “A” club in the Ranger farm system.
Profar had a name for himself, by leading the Willemstad Little League team from Curacao to the Little League World Series in 2004 and again in 2005. Most scouts saw Jurickson as a future MLB pitcher, but he was steadfast in his desire to play the field. In 2009, The Rangers signed Profar and sent him to the Northwest League, in 2010 at age 17, and he hit .250, going against older players.
In 2011, Profar started the season in the South Atlantic at shortstop for the single “A” Hickory Crawdads. In 115 games, he hit .286, 12 home runs and stole 23 bases. How impressive is that for an 18 year old? Prior to the 2011 season, Profar was rated the 74th best prospect by Baseball America. Going into this season, he is now rated the 7th best prospect.
Profar’s rise has been meteoric, and there is no reason to think that will change if he can stay healthy. He has above average defensive skill, with excellent range. He has power to both fields, and he has decent speed. He’s not a “burner”, but he is quick enough to steal a base when needed.
The problem for Jurickson, is that Elvis Andrus currently occupies shortstop for the Texas Rangers, and Ian Kinsler is an All-Star quality 2nd basemen in Arlington. Profar has played shortstop, but there has been talk by the Rangers brass about exposing him at 2nd in game situations. However, the talk of “where” to play him is for another time.
Jurickson Profar has all the tools to be an All-Star player for the Rangers for a long time. Reportedly, all teams ask about anytime trade talks come up with the Rangers. Profar is still in the Ranger system, if that tells you anything. He is a player that most die hard Rangers fans cannot wait to see in person. If things go well, you may get that chance in Frisco later in the year.
ETAA: With Profar, the Rangers have a luxury in that they can develop him slowly and not rush him to Arlington. With that, we can expect him in a Texas uniform in late 2014 or for the start of 2015.