The Texas Rangers have unusual depth at a position of the utmost importance. It’s been awhile since Ranger fans have seen an inexperienced, lack luster middle infield. Fortunately, I see that streak continuing. For five years Kinsler and Andrus manned those positions but now with Kinsler gone second base is open.
When Jon Daniels traded Kinsler for Fielder it seemed he had killed two birds with one stone. He found a power hitting left handed bat to man first base and simultaneously opened up an infield spot for the Rangers most promising youngster, Jurickson Profar. Obviously the season hasn’t gone to plan. Fielder is not producing at the level the Rangers had hoped and Profar sustained an injury that has sidelined him for the first several months, if not all, of the 2014 season. Because of this injury the Rangers have started a number of players at second base, Murphy, Wilson, Odor, Sardinas. The latter two are young prospects.
When Profar returns from his injury, second base will be his to lose and I believe he will prosper at the position. He has the defensive ability to play shortstop so he could develop into a gold glove second baseman. He is a switch hitter with good pop and good speed. These are a few of the reasons I believe Jurickson Profar will be your second baseman of the future.
Now, there is a chance, as there always is with unproven prospects, that Profar will not live up to the expectations of a number one prospect. If he doesn’t then the Rangers have the luxury of having both Odor and Sardinas as backup plan A and B. If Profar doesn’t pan out Odor is a great consolation prize. He is a scrappy Venezuelan with the ability to hit for average and surprising pop for a player his size.
In any case, the Rangers have a gluttony of middle infielders, three young highly touted prospects to man second base. With the Rangers desperate need for pitching you can bet that Daniels is already conspiring about what to do with this wealth. Whether it be this year or next you can bet not all of these young middle infielders will remain Rangers for long.
The best case scenario for the Rangers is both Odor and Sardinas show poise and ability, and hopefully flash some of the potential that makes them such good prospects, while Profar is recovering. Profar has the upside and the trust of the front office so he will be the front runner when he returns but if Odor can put together a nice little streak then it could become a battle. Then Daniels has the luxury of a proven prospect which would help with a trade for another ace to pair with Darvish.
Odor is the Rangers #1 prospects and their #1 trade chip. If he can get hot he will help the rangers in the present and the future.