That future multimillion dollar smile

Rangers Call Up Top Prospect Jurickson Profar

Tonight after the Rangers 5-3 win in Cleveland, word spread through the Twitter-verse that the Rangers called up their prized talent from AA Frisco, shortstop Jurickson Profar. He is just one of five players that will make the trek down from the Minor Leagues up to Arlington, but certainly the most notable and, well, the one Rangers fans are most excited about. A full breakdown of the roster shuffle can be found here.

Profar, 19, has been the youngest player in the Texas League all year, and has been lauded by various scouting types (Keith Law and Kevin Goldstein, to name two) as the number one prospect in all of baseball. Despite his ripe age and relative inexperience in pro ball, Profar finished his AA season at a triple slash line of .281/.368/.452, drawing an impressive 66 walks compared to only 79 strikeouts in nearly 550 plate appearances.

Though he is the Rangers #1 prospect, his role with the Major League club is not expected to be a substantial one. This past week in Frisco signaled a clear and prescient example of his assumed contribution to the Rangers; that is, coming off the bench to pinch-hit late in the game, and then play the subsequent position allotted to him for the remainder of the game. I (sort of) alluded to this recently in a post I made about having the best available talent on the roster for when the games start to grow in magnitude.

Jon Daniels affirmed this when he issued a statement earlier this evening about the transaction.

“Obviously you don’t typically consider a young guy for a utility role, and we wouldn’t if this was April, but we’re looking to put our best 25 there, and we felt he’s one of them.”

So there’s that.

Of course, looking forward in regards to Profar, it sparks a pretty interesting topic of conversation. We all know that Josh Hamilton is a free agent after the season ends, and, without a contract currently in hand, and understanding Josh Hamilton’s preference to stay with the Rangers, it should send a pretty loud message that the Texas front office really doesn’t want him back. Well, at lost not at the expected price tag he should command. So, with Profar being groomed for a starting roster spot on Opening Day 2013 (because it wouldn’t make sense to have him up and not be starting), where does Elvis Andrus fit into the equation?

If you are having trouble understanding the sequence of events, let me help. Ian Kinsler signed a longterm extension earlier this season, so he’s here for good. Josh Hamilton is gone. Jurickson Profar will be up and making league minimum money. And Elvis Andrus has two years left on his deal before he hits free agency. Meaning, this offseason will generate the peak value for Andrus to be traded in some deal to net a replacement for the huge void Josh Hamilton will be leaving in the lineup, and in the outfield. Crazy? It’s just business.

But I’ll leave that for an extended breakdown sometime in the offseason.

Tonight is a night to be excited for the future of the next big star for the Rangers. We just aren’t likely to see much of him down the stretch.

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Tags: Jurickson Profar Texas Rangers

  • TXNerd86

    You’re assuming they won’t try to get someone to replace Colby Lewis first and foremost. Do you honestly think they’ll resign Colby when they have no clue how he’ll bounce back from surgery? Same with Feliz. Speculation is a killer, sir.

    • Eric Reining

      How does Colby Lewis factor into this equation? I didn’t mention him because he won’t even be available until at least July/2013. He’s immaterial to this discussion.

  • ⚾Sarah Powers⚾

    Nerd may be a bit snarky, but that is a good point. There is a starter to replace and they may not feel comfortable replacing from within. I do feel that if Dempster likes it here and continues to improve and evolve in the AL, he could be a good veteran presence to keep around. I do believe they’ll work things out with Josh, simply because I think he’ll be forced to take a look at his demands thanks to the exploits of the Dodgers, Red Sox, Angels, Marlins, Phillies… you get the point. Also, they can’t afford to keep putting Wash in managing positions he doesn’t like. He’s opposed to Profar being up in the Majors, as we all know, and there is no need to force a hated decision on Wash. Unless there’s a very clear indication that Elvis is gone after next season, there is little reason to assume Wash will play him unless there’s no other option (a la Moneyball when “Beane” traded Pena to ensure Hatteberg got play).

    • Eric Reining

      Okay, I hear what you’re saying, but you have a lot of things going against you in this post. For starters, Moneyball is a movie (and not a very realistic one, at that), and we’re talking about real life here.

      Second, Ron Washington is an employee of the Texas Rangers, below Jon Daniels (the GM), and they are both beneath the ownership group. So Jon Daniels has the last word before Ron Washington does, and the front office has given a lot of leeway to Wash (via the coke incident), so he’ll be inclined to listen when they tell him what makes the team best.

      3. Ryan Dempster is aging. We have younger, better, cheaper options. Next year we’ll have Darvish/Harrison/Holland/Perez/and some form of Ross or Ogando or a FA like Zach Greinke. Dempster is what he is — a rental.

      4. If the Rangers front office was going to keep Josh Hamilton, they would have done it by now. The Dodgers have Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier, so that’s out. The Angels have too much money tied up in their 2013 payroll, so them too. I could write the same for the Phillies, and Miami is just a mess. Boston has to be the odds-on favorite.

      • ⚾Sarah Powers⚾

        I know Moneyball is not real, but it was the most concrete thing I could come up to illustrate what could happen over the offseason if the FO feels it’s time to install a player everyday and don’t want interference form Wash. JD has done well to give Wash the parts and let him go from there with minimal interference in line up matters, but I wonder if the FO would act in, what some may consider, “drastic” fashion to achieve their goals for the club.

        To continue from above, I just don’t trust Wash to see major value in Profar as long as Andrus is still on the roster. If he’s sticking to what he’s said in the past about young players, they will not be rushed by him, especially with vets on the roster playing the same position.
        On the Josh front, do you think there is a decision to be made between Hamilton and Cruz as far as who stays and who goes? I know Josh is pretty much a coin toss, but do you think they’ll commit to Cruz significantly if Josh leaves?

        • Eric Reining

          Thank you for your reply, and I hope you don’t take my tone as if I’m attacking you. That isn’t my intent.

          I think Ron Washington has a lot less power than people perceive him to. The whole roster was JD’s doing, including the terrible mistake of giving Michael Young a huge contract some 5 years ago. Mainly every other spot in the lineup is better than league average, so Daniels has done a hell of a job compensating for the hole in the lineup Young creates, and Wash is too attached and loyal to MY to substitute him out for guys like Olt or Gentry. The team is good enough to still win with Young taking up a lineup spot every day, but when push comes to shove in the playoffs, and Jon Daniels thinks a change needs to be made, Wash will lose his job if he doesn’t abide by the higher authority.

          As for Cruz and Hamilton, I don’t think their cases coincide with one another. Hamilton is a FA after this season (and odds he’s retained are much, much less than a coin flip; more like 15-20%), and Cruz won’t hit FA until after 2013. By that time, we may or may not still need him, and if we do it’ll likely be in a DH capacity because of his age. He’ll also be a lot cheaper than Hamilton, probably in the 3-year/$33M range based off WAR projections, which the front office operates on. My guess is they’ll both be gone by the 2014 season. After all, they are both on the wrong side of 30.

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