Jurickson Profar and the Decision that Lies Ahead
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Jurickson Profar is putting the Texas Rangers into a very tough corner, one that might be tough for them to get out from.
Tied 1-1 in the eighth inning, against the Kansas City Royals, Profar hit a go-ahead solo home run that led to a 3-1 win on Sunday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark.
When the Rangers brought him up from the minor leagues after Ian Kinsler was sent to the 15-day disabled list, which ended up being pushed back another two weeks due to a few setbacks in his recovery, I don’t believe the organization thought the young kid would play to this level so quickly.
So it begs the question, what happens when Kinsler is ready to return to the team? What do you do with Jurickson Profar especially if this type of performance continues over the next two weeks? You can’t send him back to the minor leagues and you can’t sit him on the bench as a utility player.
There have been several conversations, and more than a few rumors, about Profar being a big trade chip as the July trade deadline gets closer. But even that idea might not be one the Texas Rangers will choose to consider.
Not only does he have the ability offensively but he’s shown tremendous range defensively as well. While he’s only been able to play an extended amount of time at second base, he’s a guy the Rangers can use at multiple positions in the infield as well as the outfield if the situation called for it.
There are any number of moves you can make but you have to ask the question, does it weaken the team as a whole if that particular decision is made?
While there’s little question Profar has done more than enough to prove that he can perform in the big leagues and help this lineup offensively, the move to open a roster spot isn’t nearly as hard as the decision as to what position he moves into.
You can’t put him at second base with Kinsler coming back, you can’t move Elvis Andrus out of his position at short stop or even Adrian Beltre at third base or Mitch Moreland at first base. Do you take Nelson Cruz out of right field and make him the full time designated hitter and, if you do that, what happens to Lance Berkman?
A tough decision is coming for the Rangers’ front office. At least, for the next two weeks, we get to see the best young prospect in baseball show why this team acquired him in the first place. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.