The Texas Rangers have finally given Jurickson Profar consistent playing time. Coincidentally, Profar has finally earned staying power with the big league squad.
We’re nearly two months through the regular season and the Texas Rangers haven’t offered up much encouragement. The team ranks towards the bottom of MLB in almost every statistic and they are well beyond shouting distance in the AL West. Though, in 50 games, there is going to be a few bright spots. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has received much applause, as has Nomar Mazara. However, it’s time to give Jurickson Profar some spotlight.
Profar has dealt with countless adverse situations throughout his professional baseball career. He had to deal with the pressure of being the #1 prospect in all of baseball just five years ago. He’s had to work his way back from multiple lengthy injuries. And he’s had to prove himself worthy of big league time through minimal opportunity. Matters became bad enough to where Profar expressed disappointment publicly when the Rangers did not trade him prior to last year’s trade deadline.
Now, in 2018, he’s still trying to prove to fans that he is not the biggest bust in Texas Rangers’ history. The past is no fault of his own. Injuries ruin a lot of careers, and talented players are not immune to injury. How many top prospects have disappeared before even stepping foot in the major leagues? How many gave up once the red carpet stopped leading the way?
Jurickson Profar has shown extraordinary character and extreme resilience in his pursuit of MLB success. Even this year he was a controversial roster spot and is only playing everyday because of injuries to other Texas Rangers. Amazingly, Jeff Banister is now penciling him into the lineup on a daily basis as the team’s starting shortstop and one of the team’s middle of the order bats.
Profar has earned those lineup placements. His numbers won’t necessarily jump out at you; however, he does so many things well. He draws walks, he works counts, he puts the ball in play and he gets on base. Profar is a major need for a lineup that strikes out a ton and plays primarily station-to-station baseball.
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Thus, he’ll remain in the lineup. Even when Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus return, Jurickson Profar will remain in the lineup. Perhaps he’ll overtake Rougned Odor. Or maybe he’ll become the everyday left fielder.
The Texas Rangers will use 2018 as a tryout year. Position players such as Profar, Odor, Kiner-Falefa and Ronald Guzman will not only be fighting for playing time this season, but also for the future. It will be interesting to see how things play out, especially after one or two veterans clear out come August.
One thing is for sure: as of May 23, 2018, Jurickson Profar has earned himself staying power with the Texas Rangers. Hopefully continued consistent playing time will result in continued improvement for the former #1 prospect.