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Oklahoma City RedHawks: Jurickson Profar is living up to hype

Rangers prospect could become Texas' second baseman of the future — or trade bait.
BY MIKE BALDWIN Published: April 17, 2013
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photo - OKLAHOMA CITY REDHAWKS / MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: Jurickson Profar of the Round Rock Express, throws back to first, during a baseball game against the RedHawks at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
OKLAHOMA CITY REDHAWKS / MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: Jurickson Profar of the Round Rock Express, throws back to first, during a baseball game against the RedHawks at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

“I was shocked how well he understood the game at such a young age,” Olt said. “The past couple of years he's developed even more. He's only going to get better. He likes to compete. He's a winner, a kid with a lot of talent.”

A native of Curacao, an island near the coast of Venezuela, Profar led his team to the Little League World Series title in 2004 at age 11 and then led them to a runner-up finish the following year.

In 2009, Profar signed a $1.55 million deal with the Rangers, an organizational record bonus for an international player before they later signed Yu Darvish.

Profar immediately showed why he's been a highly touted prospect since the day he signed.

At age 18, Profar was named MVP of the low-Class A South Atlantic League.

Last season at age 19, he skipped high Class A and hit .281 with 14 home runs in Double-A, highlighted by a 29-game hitting streak. He also logged 17 at bats with the Rangers.

What are Profar's thoughts on being the No. 1 prospect in the minors?

“It's a big honor,” Profar said. “But I don't worry about any of that stuff (including trade rumors). I'm just working on everything, my hitting, defense, everything.”

The looming question is whether Profar will be part of the Rangers core in future years.

Last year, the Rangers signed Kinsler to a five-year $75 million extension. A few weeks ago, they signed Andrus to an eight-year $120 million extension.

The Rangers could find a spot in their lineup if they convince Kinsler to change positions. First baseman Mitch Moreland still has a lot to prove. Outfielders Nelson Cruz and David Murphy can become free agents after this season.

But the latest buzz is the Rangers could dangle Profar in an attempt to land ultra-talented Miami outfielder Giancario Stanton or a Cy Young-caliber pitcher like Tampa Bay left-hander David Price, who might be on the market later this year.

Amid all the rumors, Olt has been impressed with Profar's maturity.

“You would never know he has all those eyes on him and all that hype,” Olt said. “He really understands the game at a young age. And he keeps getting better. He's a very special player.”


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