Andrus became a Ranger as part of the Mark Tiexiera trade with Atlanta. The 23 year old is now out of his rookie contract, with this new contract he has he will be making north of $2.37 million this year compared to the $450k he made in the 2011 season. While the season was marred by instances of play that seemed to be less then optimum, he in fact had his best offensive statistic year. In that season he hit .279/.347/.361 above his career average of .271/.340/.343. More importantly almost is the fact that he increased his number of hits, the number of stolen bases, runs and RBI. He also reduced the number of strikeouts he had and the number of times he was caught stealing. On the negative side he decreased the number of walks he drew and increased the number of errors he committed. These two stats have the most to do with maturity, a line that will be the same with Profar in just a moment.
Profar is a baseball phenom out of Curacao, a baseball player that started his career on television by playing in the Little League World Series. Right now he is 18 but by the time Spring Training is over he will be 19. Four years younger than the man playing shortstop now. Profar joined the Rangers as an international free agent. He spent the 2010 season with the short season A Spokane Indians and he spent 2011 with the low A Hickory Crawdads. In baseball circles and magazines all over he is chosen as the top prospect in the Rangers stacked farm system. But how does he get pushed through the minors to the major leagues, does the organization take a slow approach and allow him to mature and get comfortable. Or do they rush him through without getting the feel for destroying the minors a level at a time.
In 2011 with the Crawdads he hit .286/.390/.493. He increased his performance in 2010 of .250/.323/.373. In 2011 he found a lot of power that was missing in 2010. He hit 12 homeruns vs 4, 8 triples vs none, and 37 doubles vs 19. He also gained presence of mind at the plate, while in 2010 he had 28 walks to 46 strikeouts he changed the percentage to 65 walks to 63 strike outs. Going from almost 2 strikeouts per walk, to less than one, it is a great statistical change.
I believe that the Rangers must take a slow progression with Profar to get him to the big leagues. There is no reason right now to fast track him. The big league club is good with Andrus and they have Michael Young as backup and Profar is so young that his prime is still years away. But the question of what to do with Andrus is still thick in the air.
If everything progresses as to track Profar will be in AAA Round Rock during the last year of Andrus’ contract. The Rangers won’t and shouldn’t keep two talents of that level at the same position. It would be in the best interest of the Rangers to trade him during the 2014 season for as much as they can get for him. If Andrus is allowed to become a free agent after 2014 he will not be coming back, and the price that he will be demanding will be enormous. What Ranger nation must prepare itself for is that time in the future when Elvis isn’t there. But for now enjoy him, I think he will come back at the same offensive level, if not better and much better defensively.
As for Profar, if you can see him in Spring Training do yourself a favor and see him in person and close up it is a thrill. As for his 2012 season I think he will be High A Myrtle Beach demolishing yet another level of pitchers and increasing his fame and reputation.