The Rangers may find themselves in a tough place once infielder Jurickson Profar finally solidifies himself with the major league club. The top prospect of the 2013 season is listed as a shortstop, but with the talented Elvis Andrus already holding down that position for the Rangers, Profar finds himself in a crowded place.
With second baseman Ian Kinsler recently landing on the 15-day disabled list, Profar has found himself with another chance to earn a stay with Texas.
Here are some ideas Texas could consider for Profar's future with the team.
Move Kinsler to First Base
It's not uncommon to see a major league team ask one of its stars to change positions to make room for another upcoming player. You might recall Michael Young's time with the Rangers, where he played every position in the infield aside from catcher.
Texas could ask one of their star players to do the same once again.
Kinsler is one of three players who could be asked to change their positions. Having been a second baseman for his entire career, a move to first would make the most sense. He would still be able to play on the left side of the infield, and at 6'0" could make for a nice target to throw to.
Kinsler has never won a Gold Glove with Texas, so defensively he could be replaced. With the Rangers' history of asking players to change a position, it would not be crazy to think they could ask Kinsler to do so in order to make room for Profar.
Move Andrus or Beltre
Once again, this topic also deals with the position changing of a superstar. We've seen this before where a shortstop or third baseman will switch positions for a player of the same position. Most notably, the Orioles had prospect Manny Machado play third base despite his experience as a shortstop, a move that has worked out well for Baltimore.
There is no chance that Texas would move Beltre to shortstop, meaning that either Andrus or Profar would be taking over third for the Rangers. At 34 years old, Beltre's age could make him expendable, but the fact that he is a three time All-Star and four time Gold Glove winner could make this another tough decision for the Rangers.
Andrus or Profar would be the most likely options to end up at third base should the Rangers decide to switch up the left side of their infield. Being the incumbent, I'd expect Andrus to remain at shortstop while Profar goes to third, and Beltre either finds himself at first base or designated hitter.
Trade Profar or Another Key Player
There is no denying that Texas is stacked offensively and defensively. They boast one of the top hitting corps in the league, and their pitching staff has the ability to shut down any offense in the majors.
Depending on how Texas chooses to address its situation with Profar, it would not be surprising to see them trade one of their top infielders, or Profar, to bring in other needed talent. While they have a deep roster, there are still areas that could be improved on.
The Rangers could use help at catcher, designated hitter or the outfield. Age could come into play for two of Texas' players, as catcher A.J. Pierzynski and designated hitter Lance Berkman are veterans in their mid-to-late 30s. Both players are signed to one-year deals, an indication that neither may be with the team after 2013.
In the outfield, Nelson Cruz is still a great power hitter and won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Lenoys Martin has had a nice year for Texas, hitting .283 on the season with a .333 on-base percentage, but he has only two homers and five RBI through 38 games.
David Murphy has struggled this season in left field, but has been a good player for Texas since 2008. Even still, his numbers could certainly be replaced by a top-tier player.
The problem that Texas has is really a luxury. Any team would love to have too many good players on their roster.
Whatever it is the Rangers choose to do with Profar or other players on their roster, they appear to be in great shape for years to come. They can only improve from the eventual addition of Profar to their everyday roster, or moving him to another team to address a need.
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