Sep 26, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Jurickson Profar (13) hits a walk off home run during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
It appears baseball’s first big blockbuster move of the offseason has taken place, and there could be huge ramifications to a couple of the game’s up and coming young players.
The Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers have agreed on a massive trade that would send Prince Fielder and $30 million to Texas in exchange for Ian Kinsler. Neither team has confirmed the deal, and Fielder would have to waive his no-trade clause, but there’s a whole lotta smoke and the reports are coming from reliable sources.
Technically, Profar is no longer a prospect after spending over half last season in the majors, but at just 20 he’s years younger than some of baseball’s other potential future superstars.
He’s been underwhelming in his time with Texas so far, but the immediate success of guys like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado it’s easy to forget that expecting most 20-year-olds to hit the ground running in the bigs is like expecting an infant to complete the New York Times crossword puzzle.
Profar’s .234/.308/.336 batting line over 286 at bats with the Rangers did not make the best first impression, but he’s not kicking up his feet this offseason. Profar is playing well in the Dominican Winter League, posting a .836 OPS and has drawn 24 walks while striking out just ten times in 25 games.
Kinsler has been a mainstay in the Rangers’ lineup for years, but Profar was considered the top prospect in all of baseball heading into 2013. Once it clicks, he could be on the level of the Trout/Harper/Machado class.
Castellanos, who’s just 21-years-old himself, has hit very well in the minors despite always being young for his level. Taken with the 44th overall pick of the 2010 draft, the Florida product had a .793 OPS with 18 home runs in Triple-A last season. That performance earned him a September call-up.
The main question with Castellanos has been where’s he going to play? Originally a third baseman, the Tigers moved him out to left field this season. The departure of Fielder opens up a potential return to first base for back-to-back American League MVP Miguel Cabrera, who manned first for Detroit from 2008-11. Whether it’s at third or in left, Castellanos could be the guy who fills the void left by Fielder.
It wasn’t too long ago that Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler were a couple of the most exciting young hitters in the game. Their departure from their respective clubs has opened the door for the next wave to potentially make their own mark.