Aw come on. I thought that was one of the better and more appropriate puns/play on words we could have used for Jurickson Profar, the latest rookie sensation to make a splash in the big leagues this season. Would you have preferred “Profar, So Good”? How about “Profar Away”? “A Bridge Profar”? Well how about “I Went To The Jurickson Store And They Were All Out of You”? I could probably continue this for a few more paragraphs, but all I’m really trying to do is distract you to the point where your enthusiasm for Profar’s arrival is tempered. Why? Because this isn’t going to last, people. Rein it in. As excited as you are to have Profar finally arrive, you need to relax because he is more than likely to be gone as quickly as he came.
Earlier in the season, when the Rangers signed Elvis Andrus to a long-term contract extension, the handwriting was on the wall. Profar, a natural shortstop was either going to be moved over to second base or he was going to be dangled as a tasty piece of trade bait. If he were to move over to the keystone, Ian Kinsler was either going to have to be moved over to first base or lying in a hospital bed somewhere. And given some of Kinsler’s comments about a potential switch, the hospital bed seemed like the only real option. In the meantime, Kinsler has played like an All-Star, batting .302 with seven home runs, 20 RBI, three stolen bases and a strikeout rate that even Jeff Keppinger would covet. The Keppinger of old, mind you; not this year’s Bizarro version. There was no reason to upset the apple cart.
But that hospital bed finally became a reality and Kinsler found himself on the disabled list with an intercostal strain. So the Rangers did what so many in the fantasy community had been drooling over in anticipation for and brought up Profar to fill in at second. Actually, they brought him up to share some time at second with Leury Garcia. He arrived Sunday, sat and watched Garcia play and then got the call Monday and Tuesday. Some reports have him starting the rest of the way while others indicate a time share between the two. Either way, his fantasy value stays the same right now.
But regardless of how much playing time he gets over these next two weeks, the bottom line is that, in all likelihood, he will be sent back down to Triple-A Round Rock as soon as Kinsler comes back from the disabled list. OK, maybe the Rangers will have to explore some other options should he hit .350 and pop a few home runs, but let’s take it one game at a time. Last year he hit a home run in his first at-bat. This year, he’s 1-for-5 with a pair of RBI after batting just .278 in the always hitter-friendly PCL. Yes, he had been hot as of late, but that start to the season was so bad that even after batting .326 over his last 21 games, his numbers look pedestrian at best.
The fact remains, though, that unless he does something so unbelievable that the Rangers would be total morons for sending him back down, there’s simply no room for him to stay. Kinsler and Andrus are both playing like All Stars, the team doesn’t want another bitter feud with a player over a forced position switch (remember Michael Young?), and with the way Mitch Moreland is swinging the bat right now, they don’t want to push him out of the lineup either. There’s no denying that Profar is a phenomenal prospect and is likely destined for greatness in the major leagues. That time will come soon enough, but that time is just not now.
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