SURPRISE, Ariz. (CBS SPORTS) – The overriding assumption with baseball’s top prospect Jurickson Profar is that the Rangers would open the season with him in the minors. Tuesday, the club made it official, announcing the 20-year-old has, in fact, been sent down.
Profar hit .244/.346/.311 with a double, a triple, five RBIs, six runs and a stolen base in 53 plate appearances for the Rangers this spring. In addition to his subpar spring numbers and still being awfully young, Profar is blocked by the current construction of the Rangers’ roster.
Being a shortstop by trade with the ability to play second base, Profar is staring at All-Star middle infielders Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler.
Still, we’ve seen flashes of star ability from Profar and we need to keep in mind eventual Rookies of the Year Bryce Harper and Mike Trout spent almost a month in the minors last season before getting the call to the bigs.
If Profar gets off to a hot start in Triple-A and the Rangers see the need to switch things up, there are options. They are currently slated to use Lance Berkman at designated hitter and Mitch Moreland at first base. A Berkman injury or performance issues from Moreland (in which case Berkman could play first) could free up the DH spot for Kinsler or Profar, with the other playing second. Moving Kinsler to first base would be tempting, though it’s doubtful an experiment like that would happen in-season instead of next spring, for example.
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