After calling up top prospect Jurickson Profar on the first day rosters expanded to 40, the Texas Rangers wasted little time in getting him in the starting lineup. Incumbent second baseman Ian Kinsler found himself scratched with lower back stiffness that suddenly developed earlier today, and in his place was the 19-year-old phenom.
Profar, for his part, started what could turn into an outstanding major league career with the proverbial bang — both literally and metaphorically — by launching a two-run homer off Cleveland’s Zach McAllister.
Major League Baseball’s new youngest active player needed parts of just three seasons in the minors before getting the call to the parent club, and he entered the 2012 season ranked as the seventh best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America. The wiry switch-hitter hit a combined .276/.367/.450 in his minor league career, swiping 47 bases in the process.
While the Rangers have every reason to be excited about Profar’s future, it remains to be seen where he fits in over the long haul. Kinsler, still just 30, signed a five-year extension worth $75 million at the start of this season, and is one of the team’s best players (3.4 WAR this season per FanGraphs). Shortstop Elvis Andrus is signed to a team-friendly deal through 2014, and third baseman Adrian Beltre is locked in through 2015 with a vesting option in 2016. These three players effectively fill all the positions Profar has played as a professional, so while the Rangers may have to get creative, extra depth is always — as they say — a good problem to have.