The Jurickson Profar Situation Brewing in Texas

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sam Evans :

The Texas Rangers reluctance to part with Jurickson Profar is well-reasoned. They believe that Profar can become a perennial All-Star candidate and a better player than both Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler. By trading Profar, the Rangers would be letting go of a talent that only comes around about once in a decade. The Rangers should do whatever it takes to ensure that Profar, Andrus, and Kinsler all have starting  jobs next year.

The Rangers middle infield is crowded. Last year, Elvis Andrus played shortstop and  hit .286/.349/.378 with twenty-one stolen bases and above-average defense. In terms of Wins Above Replacement, Andrus’s 4.2 WAR made him the fifth most valuable player in 2012. In 2013, Andrus will probably have a similar season perhaps with a few more stolen bases. Elvis Andrus has established himself over the last couple years as one of the top five shortstops in all of baseball.

Manager Ron Washington started Ian Kinsler at second base 144 games last season. Ian Kinsler had a rough year in 2012 considering he was coming off of a 2011 season where he hit thirty-two homers and was worth 7.2 WAR. The sabermetrics suggest that Kinsler’s defense got much worse in 2012, but the chances are there wasn’t that much off a drop off from his previous seasons. Overall, Kinsler has been the unsung hero of the Texas Rangers these last few years and the Rangers need to find a way to keep him in their lineup.

Jurickson Profar has the potential to be the best shortstop in baseball. He has quick hangs and a beautifully fluid swing that makes him appear destined for success. Once Profar adds some strength in the offseason, we could be looking at a shortstop who could hit .290 with 10-15 homers every year. However, the difference between Profar and Andrus and Kinsler is that both Andrus and Kinsler have proven that they can perform at the major league level, while Profar has yet to receive more than twenty at-bat’s.

When you add contracts to the mix, this whole situation gets way more complicated. Kinsler is set to make $75 million through 2017 and he has a team option for 2018. Elvis Andrus is signed for the next two years under a team-friendly contract. Profar is just a rookie so he has a long way to go before he hits free agency. None of these contracts are nasty, so the Rangers wouldn’t have a problem moving any of these guys if they had to.

Any one of these three guys could bring back a lot in a trade. Elvis Andrus has generated a lot of interest, in particular from the Rays and the Diamondbacks. Supposedly, Arizona offered Justin Upton for either Profar or Andrus. However, Texas has made it seem as if they are content on keeping all of these three studs. It wouldn’t surprise me if these three were still all with the Rangers in 2014 as well.

The best option for the Rangers to handle this situation with Profar, Andrus, and Kinsler is to move to Kinsler to the corner outfield. The disadvantages of this move are that Kinsler’s value would be diminished in the outfield and Profar would be under pressure to put up numbers right away. However, this is the perfect move for Texas because it is probably the only scenario where all three are in their starting lineup. Profar is talented enough to handle playing second base and Kinsler is athletic enough to play in the outfield. This is the right move for Texas to make and I’d be surprised if they went down a different path.

Overall, the situation in Texas regarding these three players is a mess. However, it is a very good situation to be in. If Texas decides to trade Profar or Andrus, they would be able to get Wil Myers or a player of his caliber. However, by just staying put and moving Kinsler to the outfield, Texas gets to keep all Profar, Andrus, and Kinsler in their everyday lineup. The Rangers front office has some big decisions to make this offseason, and they all revolve around the middle infield situation.

(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)

***Today’s feature was prepared by Sam Evans, Baseball Writer.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Sam on Twitter. (@RJA206)***

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About samevans87

I love writing, talking, watching, and playing baseball. I am a baseball writer for MLB Reports and Fish Stripes. "No game in the world is as tidy and dramatically neat as baseball, with cause and effect, crime and punishment, motive and result, so cleanly defined." -Paul Gallic

Posted on November 25, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I would not move Profar to 2B. He is a Gold Glove caliber player at SS. Personally, I would trade Andrus for a king’s ransom. Profar is on the level of Harper/Trout in terms of raw talent and he seems to be a safe bet to reach that level. I would rather have a trio of Upton in RF, Profar at SS and Kinsler at 2B then Kinsler in LF, Andrus at SS and Profar at SS.

    • Yeah, I feel like that’s what a lot of Rangers fans think. However, I’m not sure the Rangers think that Profar can have the kind of impact that Trout and Harper had on their individual teams immediately in 2013. If the Rangers shipped out a proven top-5 shortstop like Andrus before the season started, the amount of pressure on Profar would be huge. Thanks for the comment!

  2. GoodI Stuff in the Article about the Texas infield .I feel that if Josh Hamilton signs else where and even iif he doesn’tTexas has some work to do order to be in position to go WSS in 2013 It my view that in many situations they over estimate there players ability .In regard to Profar until he plays in the majors and proves himself he still just a goodpropect and we can compare him to whoeverbbut until he proves himself nothing changes talk is just that. I don’t believe Texas infield is as good as advertised defensively at second base and firstBase I love them at third base and shortstop has been above average for number of sesaons .I wouldn’t be opposed to trading Andrus for abovervaverage Centerfielde but it wouldnt be either one of the Upton Brothers .However that being said in doing this you weaken your infield iand one needs to remember Shortstop is a key position no matter who he is any rookie is unproven until he prove himself.In my belief based on there season in 2012 and the way they played late in 2012.-and in the playoffs there are some Chemistry issues that need to be corrected .In additionI didn’t feel there manger did a good job in 2012 and if was a betting man it’s my belief that the Honey moon is over for Washington in Texas I also dislike the fact that Nolan Ryan spared with some of his players in the press This servers no good purpose and shouldn’t be happening .In my view Texas has a lot of issues to deal with and for most part the issues aren’t in the infield unless you make them that

    • I agree with most of the stuff you said. If I were Texas I wouldn’t be very interested in either Upton and I don’t think Washington has been amazing. However, all of his players like him and taking him out of the situation on a winning team could harm some of the players. Texas does have a lot of issues to deal with, but most of these issues are good issues to have. Thanks for the comment!

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