Sunday, February 17, 2013
Profar's role for 2013
By Jason A. Churchill
The Texas Rangers have a "problem" every team in baseball would love to have. They possess two terrific young shortstops in Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. Andrus is established as a plus defender with solid on-base skills at the plate. Profar is the game's top prospect and appears to be ready for the big leagues.
The Rangers do have options, such as using Profar at second base, leaving Andrus at shortstop and moving Ian Kinsler to the outfield or first base. There's also the long-term possibility that Profar is moved to center field, where his big-time arm, speed and instincts suggest he could become one of the game's best at the position. That scenario allows the team to get value out of both players without having to trade one of them.
That may or may not be the plan in the end, but it appears the outfield is not an option for Profar right now, writes Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. Whether or not that is something the organization will consider in the future is unclear, but if such news that Profar will not play the outfield this spring is any indication of the future -- and GM Jon Daniels alluded to just that in clarifying both his statement from last week and skipper Ron Washington's comments earlier this week -- the long-term ramifications involve either Andrus or Kinsler changing positions -- or teams.
While it makes a lot more sense to move Kinsler off second base than Andrus off shortstop, the Rangers may be able to extract more value out of the situation by trading Andrus for starting pitching, an area of need the club was unable to address this offseason.
Andrus is signed through the 2014 season and is carrying a wait-and-see approach to a contract extension. The Rangers' plans may be greatly impacted by the chances they get Andrus' name on a contract extension at a price they like.
As for Profar, well, his role this season is still being determined by Texas, per Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram. Durrett discusses some of the possibilities:
Richard DurrettWhere will Profar play?
"Washington wants to rest his regulars. But he has to have a bench he's confident in so that he can do that. And here goes a circle. Washington likes Profar and believes in him. Having him on the bench would give Washington confidence. But is having Profar on the bench best for Profar? If he's on the roster, Washington would have to commit to finding a way to play him at least three or four times every week for that to even begin to be feasible. Maybe that's not even enough to justify doing it. Versatility could be the factor in Profar getting enough chances rather than sitting on the bench. If outfield is out of the mix, would that decrease his chances to get on the field? Maybe. But the fact that the bench has been a weak spot on this club in the past has the front office and coaching staff not dismissing the notion that Profar could be on the bench."