There aren’t many teams in Major League Baseball that can replace an injured star with a potential superstar in the making.
However, that’s exactly what the Texas Rangers are attempting to do in recalling top prospect Jurickson Profar from Triple-A Round Rock after placing second baseman Ian Kinsler on the 15-day disabled list with bruised ribs, as reported by USA Today.
Kinsler has jumped off to a terrific start in 2013 (.302/.369/.500), and his starting spot is in no danger of drying up upon his return, but that doesn’t mean Profar isn’t worth an add in most fantasy formats.
The 20-year-old—widely regarded as the top prospect in baseball—is well on his way to an extended stint in the bigs at some point this season. Since May 8, the shortstop is hitting .415 with a .610 slugging percentage and an on-base plus slugging of 1.076. After a slow start, he’s starting to look like the superstar many expect him to be in the very near future.
Of course, minor league success doesn’t always translate to production at the big league level, but he’ll likely have an opportunity to prove his worth in Kinsler’s stead. He’s certainly worth a short-term add in deep formats.
But Profar’s reappearance at the big league level (he hit .176 in nine games with the Rangers last season) is a terrific sign for fantasy owners with an extra roster spot hoping to cash in on a high-upside prospect toward the end of the fantasy season.
Despite playing 312 games in the last two seasons, Kinsler missed 59 games in 2010 and 41 games in 2008, highlighting some durability concerns that could mean an extended stay for Profar should Kinsler run into further injury problems this season.
The Baseball America preseason No. 1 prospect has a big opportunity to show what he can do in a starting role. If Profar displays the five-tool skill set that has everyone’s attention, it will be extremely hard for the Rangers to not find a larger role for the 20-year-old at some point this season.
Now owned in 55 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy leagues, Profar’s fantasy value is skyrocketing—and it’s easy to understand why. Owners looking for a long-term starting option need not apply, but he’s certainly worth a roster spot for owners in need of short-term production and a potential utility player with huge potential later in the year.