MESA, Ariz. -- No longer is Jurickson Profar a top young prospect -- he was once considered the best in baseball -- but the A's are hoping to get his best years out of him.Oakland's new second baseman arrived to camp Thursday, eager to immerse himself amongst his former American
MESA, Ariz. -- No longer is Jurickson Profar a top young prospect -- he was once considered the best in baseball -- but the A's are hoping to get his best years out of him.
Oakland's new second baseman arrived to camp Thursday, eager to immerse himself amongst his former American League West foes. No longer in a Rangers uniform, Profar will now be playing in the middle of a Gold Glove corner-infield duo on an everyday basis.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
"It was a joy watching them, and this year I get to be with them, so we're gonna have fun," Profar said of third baseman Matt Chapman and first baseman Matt Olson.
"He's pretty excited to be here," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I noticed he was wearing white shoes a little bit last year, and I mentioned that to him."
Saddled by injuries in the early stages of his career, then blocked at the big league level for some time, Profar finally saw regular playing time with the Rangers in 2018, moving all over the infield while posting a .254/.335/.458 line.
Still, he was expendable, leading Texas to make him available in a trade. The A's jumped at the opportunity while preparing to lose veteran Jed Lowrie, who went on to sign a free-agent deal with the New York Mets. Immediately, Oakland deemed Profar their everyday second baseman ahead of prospect Franklin Barreto.
"I think, for [Profar], coming off a healthy season, kind of the expectations on him throughout his career, he finally got passed all that last year, and he'll be in a position to where he's basically playing one position this year," Melvin said, "and I think he's excited about that, too."
It wasn't long ago Melvin remembers thinking, "Here comes another one." Profar was, at the time, expected to further boost an already formidable Rangers lineup. Texas, though patient with him, never saw his full potential, however.
"I think the timing is right to have him on our side," Melvin said.
"I've been feeling great about this organization," Profar said. "They have a great team; especially last year, they always battled. Every time they gave us a hard time. They never give up. They play nine innings hard, and I'm looking forward to that."
The Curacao native is just 25 years old and remains under club control through the 2020 season. Like Lowrie, Profar is a switch-hitter, and there's reason to believe he can emulate the numbers of his predecessor after collecting 20 homers and 77 RBIs to go along with 10 stolen bases for Texas last year.
"I worked hard to get past the injuries, and last year was the first time I really got a chance to play," Profar said. "I think I did good, so I'm looking forward to this year."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.