Height: 5’11” Weight: 170
Jurickson Profar was signed by the Texas Rangers as a 16 year old out of Curacao in 2009 for $1.55mm. He made his name by leading the Curacao team to the Little League World Series Championship in 2004. But at the time, he made his name as a pitcher. His frame didn’t come along as some would have projected and the signing by the Rangers led to some questions. But their scouting team did a good job looking beyond and seeing him as a shortstop.
In his debut with the Northwest League’s Spokane team, Profar as a 17 Year old, hit .250 with 19 doubles and 4 HR in just AB. The doubles were impressive giving him a .123 IsoP which isn’t bad for a toothpick skinny teen. But what was most impressive was his plate discipline and contact ability. He walked 9.7% of the time while striking out just 16% of the time. Both excellent numbers for such a young player.
The debut numbers were enough for Profar to rank #64 coming into 2011 for our Top Prospect List.
64. Jurickson Profar SS TEX – Profar is a young SS with the projectable power and frame to be a corner OF in the future. But right now he’s proving that he has the chops to stick at SS. As an 18 year old in full season ball he shows a true 5 tool set and should be able to stick at SS long term with above average power. He’s a long way off but has immense talent and the Rangers weren’t afraid to push Elvus Andrus so Profar could move fast.
The Rangers rightfully moved him to the next level despite his age and he again proved up to the task. Let’s take a look at his 2011 season and what made him a top prospect.
Profar began the season showing some power that wasn’t yet expected. It was enough for him to make the Futures Game where we broke down his first half:
5 tool talent who’s answering the naysayers who doubted he would be a SS at the professional level. He’s handling SS well and looks to be an above average fielder with an excellent arm. More than athletic enough to handle the OF and the frame to profile well. His bat has been even more of a surprise. Not because it was doubted, but because his power is coming along so quickly. He’s already at 19 doubles and 8 HR and flashing his speed with 6 triples and 8 SB. He’s doing it across the board and his .266 AVG will see a jump when his .278 BABIP normalizes.
The BABIP did normalize some over the second half to .309 and his AVG followed for him to finish the season at .286 with 37 doubles, 12 HR and 23 SB. So he kicked up the average and turned on some of the speed, as he became more comfortable on the bases and trusted his speed.
He finished with an IsoP of .207, which is excellent for a 170 lb SS at age 18. He should have spent the year in High School, yet he was already in Low-A ball. As a switch hitter he’s well adjusted from both sides of the plate but is a slightly better hitter from the left side and utilizes his speed better when he hits from that side of the plate.
Profar has made the necessary adjustments and is a hard working player. He committed 22 errors in 2011, but most of them came on throws where he was trying to do to much. He has excellent range which at times has been the root cause of his throwing troubles. He tries to make every play he can get to. He’ll learn and mature.
Despite concerns that he wouldn’t be able to handle the position as a professional, it seems that if the Rangers decide to leave him at SS long term, he will be more than an average defender. If they decide to sign Elvus Andrus long term, Profar should be able to handle the OF without much trouble or slide over to 2B.
Profar is a young player with a few years of growth and development ahead of him before we know what the final product will be. But he seems to have the attitude and work ethic to make the most of his wide array of tools.
He’s only 170 lbs at this point, yet he flashing above average power. Will he add 30 lbs to his frame and push that power to plus? He has excellent speed even though he hasn’t quite learned had to use it fully. So right now he projects as a 20 SB player and while it could be more I think that’s where he will end up.
I think he has a better chance of his power improving to 20+ HR power than he does becoming a 30+ SB threat.
He should move level to level, seeing High-A in 2012 and then Double-A in 2013. I would be surprised to see him make the jump to the majors in 2014 though. The biggest question will be a question of money. Will the Rangers sign young Elvus Andrus long term and if they do, does Profar move to 2B or the OF.
I’m of the mindset that Profar will replace Ian Kinsler in a few years at 2B and that will give the Rangers a potent double play combo up the middle. Profar should be a .285+ hitter with 20+ HR power and 20+ SB speed.
His frame is currently so underdeveloped that it’s a difficult proposition to say what his ultimate upside is. But one of the largest pluses for Profar is his approach to the game. It’s a characteristic that has me comfortable saying that he’ll be a high floor player. He’s one of the few 18 year old players that is almost a surefire major leaguer at least a utility player and with the ceiling of an All-Star.
Check back soon as we profile many more Top MLB Prospects and also get our baseball geek on and take a look at some of the later draft picks from the 2011 draft that we think could be big names on the prospect radars in the near future. While you’re here, take a look at our on going series Touch’em All | Appalachian League and be a step ahead of the game. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be. So don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org.