How Jurickson Profar is proving everyone wrong in 2018
Just this past January, I published an article on Dallas Sports Fanatic that suggested to trade the 25-year-old Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar.
In the article I described how “Profar has battled injuries and failed expectations throughout his time in Texas…” and continued to prove my point by saying “In 206 games with Texas, Profar hit .229 with 12 HR, 53 RBI, and a .309 OBP. The most negative stat is 142 strikeouts in 633 plate appearances.”
All of the information was relevant and true at the time. And I’m sure I was not the only follower of Texas Rangers baseball that could see parting ways with Profar as a positive move before the season started. But as we’re past the halfway point through the 2018 season, Profar has proven me wrong despite the team’s overall struggles with a current record of 40-54.
In 83 games this season, Profar has a career high in batting average (.248), hits (75), doubles (23), triples (4), Home runs (9), RBI (46), and basically any other relevant category. And it’s not that he has just set season highs, but he has absolutely crushed his previous marks.
Heading into the season, Profar had accumulated a -0.1 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) rating and this season alone has put up a 1.5 WAR overall and a 2.2 Offensive WAR which is second on the team behind All-Star Shin-Soo Choo.
If the regular season stats weren’t enough to show that Profar has finally taken a step forward, then the Rangers situation at infield could shed some more light on his value to the club.
Profar has played in five different spots in the field defensively including every infield position except for catcher and has played left field. All positions of which that are a place of need for the Rangers or soon will be.
As we near the trade deadline, there has been increasing talk about the potential departure about Adrian Beltre. Many believe that Elvis Andrus will decline his player option at the end of the season and become an unrestricted free agent. Rougned Odor has been better but is still a streaky hitter and a liability defensively. And Joey Gallo is openly against the idea about moving to third base next season. That means there are uncertainties at third base, shortstop, left field, and sometimes even second base.
Texas will either look completely different and be underwhelming in the infield next season or have the same look. However, with the first option looking like the more likely of the two, Profar could be the future of the Texas infield whether we like it or not.
With Profar’s contract being under team control until 2021, he could be a part of the younger generation of Rangers to make it past rebuilding and into relevancy before his time is up in Arlington.
If we can see another jump in production, a more experienced Profar along with Mazara, Gallo, Guzman, Odor, and Deshields could be dangerous in the coming years.