Texas Rangers: Jurickson Profar is X Factor on 2018 Roster
By Andrew Webb
Jurickson Profar is one of the most interesting stories going into the 2018 campaign. What will the Texas Rangers get out of the versatile slugger next season?
The Texas Rangers were once in control of one of the most highly regarded prospects in all of Major League baseball. Jurickson Profar was a player every team wanted, but now has fallen from grace the last few seasons.
Last season, Profar hit .172 with five RBIs in 22 games with the Rangers. He spent most of his time in Triple-A, where he hit .287 with seven home runs and 45 RBI in 87 games in Round Rock. The Rangers have been hesitant to use Profar, but they’ve been forced their own hand.
The 24-year-old switch hitter is out of minor league options. The Rangers must keep Profar on their 25-man roster or take their chances with him going through waivers if they send him down. It’s almost impossible to imagine Profar making it through waivers untouched.
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Yes, Profar is a career .229 hitter in the MLB, but he has potential. Almost any organization would take a 24-year-old hitter for that cheap, and they wouldn’t have to give up anything. The Rangers must either trade Profar or actually find a way to use him on their roster.
The good news is, Profar can play just about every position on the diamond. Having a player like Profar on a roster is a luxury for any organization. Sadly, the Rangers have a starting player locked in at almost every position.
Unless an injury occurs, the only time Profar would touch the field is when a starter received an off-day. At most, Profar would be playing three, possibly four times a week. That’s not enough for a player with that much potential.
Over the course of four seasons, Profar has played just 206 games in Arlington. The Rangers really aren’t sure what kind of player he truly is just yet. One attribute Profar does have that makes him special is his ability to draw walks.
Last season in Triple-A, Profar walked 43 times and only struck out 33 plate appearances. Profar had almost 400 plate appearances, and pitchers were only able to strike him out 33 times. That’s a special gift, and something that is desperately needed on the Rangers roster.
The Rangers need a player at the top of their lineup that can draw walks easily. Someone that can start the game off with a 10 pitch at-bat. The lack of walks severely hurt the Rangers offense in 2017.
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Finding a way to get Profar in the lineup on a daily basis is a must for the Rangers next season. They need his presence at the top of the lineup, even if it costs the playing time of another starter. We’ll see what happens in Spring Training, but Profar needs to be in the Rangers lineup.