How Jurickson Profar Could Be an X-Factor for the Texas Rangers in October
Shortly after one elite shortstop prospect was called up the the major leagues from Double-A, there are rumors that another one could be up soon. According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Texas Rangers are considering calling up Jurickson Profar within the next week. When asked about a possible Profar call-up, Keith Law of ESPN stated that he was a better option for the Texas Rangers than Michael Young.
Profar entered the season as Baseball America's seventh-best prospect, and he moved up to second on their midseason list. This was certainly due in part to his impressive performance in Double-A as a 19-year-old.
Through 111 games, Profar has put up a line of .285/.363/.470 with 14 home runs, 61 RBI and 15 stolen bases. He also has an impressive 131 wRC+, according to FanGraphs.
Based on his performance in Double-A this season, it is clear that Profar is ready for a bigger challenge. While the Rangers could consider moving him up to Triple-A, it makes more sense for them to bring him up to the majors for the stretch run.
The one problem that the Rangers will have is trying to find a place in their lineup where he can get consistent playing time. Adrian Beltre is entrenched at third base, and the same can be said about Ian Kinsler at second.
Moving Profar to the outfield for the time being would not be an option either. The Rangers already have Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Craig Gentry and David Murphy for their three outfield spots.
Profar's defense is one of the best parts of his game, and they are going to want to find a way to get him onto the field. That could mean that the Rangers shift Elvis Andrus to DH if they do call up Profar.
Should the Texas Rangers call up Jurickson Profar?
According to Mike Newman of FanGraphs, Profar has Gold Glove potential at shortstop as well as some outstanding instincts at the position.
The Rangers will also benefit from having Profar in their lineup everyday. So far this season, Michael Young has been worth -1.6 WAR. Profar could certainly perform better than that if he began to start taking at-bats away from Young.
When he is at the plate, Profar has the potential to be a big threat to opposing pitchers. He has the ability to both lay down a bunt as well as smack the ball out of the park. Those abilities make him a dynamic addition to the Rangers' lineup. Profar would be the best power bat that the Rangers would have on their bench, so he could step in for one of their lighter hitting players in a big spot.
Once Profar reaches base, he is a threat to steal bases. Throughout his minor league career, he has been successful stealing 74 percent of the time. This means that even if Profar does not start a game, the Rangers could use him as a pinch-runner to increase their chances of scoring a run late in the game.
With a comfortable six-game lead in the American League West, the Rangers can afford to call up Profar and give him some playing time. Profar's talents could help them protect their lead in the AL West and help them challenge the New York Yankees for the best record in the American League and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
By calling Profar up before the September 1 roster expansion, he would be eligible for the postseason roster. Texas could use the month of September to see if Profar would be ready to produce in the playoffs.
The elite set of talents possessed by Profar could be exactly what the Rangers need to push them over the edge. He is a legitimate five-tool talent, and he has earned the chance to show off his skills at the major league level.
Whether Profar starts every day, a few times a week or comes off the bench, he has the abilities to be an X-factor for the Rangers. Profar's power, speed, ability to hit for average and outstanding defense make him a big addition to the Rangers' lineup.
After two straight World Series appearances without taking home the title, the Texas Rangers are looking for the piece they need to push them over the edge. It is very possible that Jurickson Profar could prove to be that piece.
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