A few days ago, MLB and other sources were reporting that top prospect Jurikson Profar would bypass the 2013 World Baseball Classic in order to prepare to try and battle for a position with the Texas Rangers.
However, apparently that was incorrect. It appears that Profar has not decided whether he would play for the Netherlands or not.
On Thursday, Profar tweeted “24 days till the first game excited to play with guys I grew up with@jonathanmamba46
It appears that he will make up his mind after reporting to spring training in Surprise.
Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels commented Tuesday that Profar, Michael Olt, and Leury Garcia should come to camp to compete for jobs. The thought generally is that the Rangers would rather have Profar in AAA getting at-bats everyday rather than sitting on the bench in Arlington. However, Daniels told local reporters, “If he’s one of the best 25 and as an organization we’re comfortable that he will get an opportunity to play and make an impact on the team and also continue to progress, we’ll be open-minded with that.”
So why couldn’t baseball’s top prospect get playing time in Arlington and why might the front office be worried a bit? Because manager Ron Washington has not been one to use his bench very liberally in recent years.
The front office needs to feel comfortable that Washington will use his bench, including Profar, more than he has done in the past.
Everyone will be interested to hear Profar’s final decision.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.