The Fall of Jurickson Profar

Jurickson Profar was unanimously ranked as the baseball’s number one prospect entering the 2013 season. Scouts projected Profar as a home run-hitting, base-stealing, defensively-skilled second baseman, who would help the Rangers attain their first World Series title in franchise history. But after receiving the much-awaited call to the majors, Profar struggled, hitting only .234 in 85 games in the back half of 2013. However, Profar’s slow start did not diminish the Rangers’ confidence in their budding star, as the team traded All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler to open a spot full-time for the top prospect.

After trading Ian Kinsler to the Tigers, the Texas Rangers were excited to sport a infield highlighted by the flashy Elvis Andrus and much-hyped Jurickson Profar. But after suffering a shoulder injury during Spring Training, Profar was sidelined for the entire 2014 season. The Rangers scheduled Profar to play in the Arizona Fall League to make up lost at-bats, but that opportunity was lost when his shoulder experienced yet another setback.

Profar’s recurring injuries leave the Rangers in an interesting situation: should they trust the former top prospect as the second baseman of the future or should they look for alternative options to fill that role? Honestly, it’s clear the ball club should choose the latter.

Despite his array of alleged “tools”, Profar has never produced at an elite level in the minor leagues. His best season minor league season came in 2012, when the switch-hitter batted .281 with 14 home runs and 66 RBIs for Double-A Frisco. But when accounting for the padded stats of the offensive-heavy Texas League, these numbers represent barely above above-average production.

He never batted above .286 in the minor leagues
May 8, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Jurickson Profar (13) looks on during the game against the Colorado Rockies at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Apart from his 2012 season, Profar has endured only one more full minor league season over the course of his professional career.   He’s a talented ballplayer, but injuries will never allow this promising player to reach his full potential. And with 21 year-old shortstop Luis Sardinas bursting on the scene late in 2014, the Rangers will be able to absorb an ineffective Profar better than expected. Profar’s status within the organization will grant him a shot at a starting job in 2015, but the Curacao native will never be the player the Rangers thought they had when the team traded Ian Kinsler.

Jurickson Profar is the epitome of a major league prospect: one day he is the franchise savior, the next he represents the forgotten man, added to the list of countless players who failed to meet expectations.