Texas Ranger Jurickson Profar was listed by scouting services as the top non-pitching prospect in all of baseball, and on Sunday, September 2, 2012, he arrived in the majors with a bang. In Profar’s first at bat of his career, he hit a solo HR to right field and finished the day 2-4 with a double as well. The expectations for the 19-year old shortstop were already through the roof, and Sunday’s game did nothing but increase those expectations. Profar has only had one problem in his first week of service in the majors: getting on the field.
Mar 29, 2012; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar throws out San Francisco Giants third baseman Conor Gillaspie (not pictured) during the ninth inning at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
The Texas Rangers have a firm grasp on the best record in the American League (82-55) and a 5.5 game lead on the second place Oakland A’s, yet they are not using September to help give any players days off in the field. The Rangers have played 137 games this season including 68 in the smoldering heat inside the Ballpark in Arlington. With that being said, the 4 players that have played at 2B, 3B, and SS this year have played with very few days off.
Michael Young – 131 Games 6 – days off
Ian Kinsler – 132 Games 5 – days off
Elvis Andrus – 132 Games 5 – days off
Adrian Beltre – 132 Games 5 – days off
If you live in the DFW area, you know that this time of the year is still very hot. What can help starting, veteran players rest in the heat going down the home stretch? Young players looking to get experience, and the Rangers have more than one of them on the bench. Jurickson Profar is the highest touted player on that bench, but fellow rookie Mike Olt has played in only 14 games himself since being called up at the beginning of August. Both Olt and Profar are excellent fielders and have shown the ability to hit at the major league level, although neither has had the opportunity to do it consistently. Ron Washington has helped lead this team to 2 straight World Series runs and we have no reason to doubt his managerial ability, but he seems adamant about not playing these players. Michael Young is the leader of this team and I don’t expect him to be pushed out of the lineup due to his struggles this year, but starting him at SS last night makes absolutely no sense when Jurickson Profar is sitting on the bench. It puts the Rangers at a defensive liability that they wouldn’t have if Profar plays.
August 7, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Mike Olt (9) prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE
If Profar and Olt are not going to get playing time in Arlington, they should be back with the RoughRiders in Frisco playing every day and in their playoffs. Sitting on the bench doesn’t make anyone better. I don’t expect the Rangers to play Olt and Profar regularly in the postseason, in fact that may be unwise. I also don’t expect them to sit everyone and let them rest, but keeping the veterans fresh would only benefit the team now and in the future. There is no doubt we will see Jurickson Profar in the future; he has a good chance of starting next season. Ranger fans have Mike Trout in the back of their minds, and they expect that Profar will help the Rangers out in the same way.
The time to get Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt on the field is now. The Rangers should take advantage of the talented youngsters and rest some of the veterans before the playoffs.