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Profar opens camp with homer off Hamels

Former top prospect shines in Rangers' intrasquad game
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels was the first to weigh in on Jurickson Profar's health on Monday.

"He looks pretty healthy to me," Hamels said.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels was the first to weigh in on Jurickson Profar's health on Monday.

"He looks pretty healthy to me," Hamels said.

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Profar did look good on the second at-bat of Monday's intrasquad scrimmage, smashing Hamels' cut fastball over the left-field wall for a home run. Profar also played shortstop for the first time after missing two seasons with a torn muscle in his right shoulder.

"It feels great," Profar said. "You know it's just one intrasquad game, but it feels good to be out playing."

Tweet from @Rangers: Already executing the fundamentals in our 1st intrasquad of #SpringTraining! #ItAllStartsHere pic.twitter.com/0s1QmLC8vY

Profar made two excellent plays. In the first inning, he went up the middle, made a diving stop on Delino DeShields' grounder, got up from his knees and threw DeShields out at first. Profar also ranged into left field in the second inning to snag Rougned Odor's high pop fly.

"Day 1, I would say if you were looking to put some check marks on the positive side, it would be how he moved to the baseball and how he moved on defense," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "No second thoughts diving for the ball, came up and threw the ball. Very instinctual. I'm sure it was fun for him to play defense and swing the bat."

Profar was 1-for-2 at the plate, grounding out in his second at-bat against left-hander Cesar Ramos.

"I worked very hard for the two years I missed," Profar said. "I knew I would be able to play, so I worked hard to get back. I felt great. I have been telling you my arm feels great. I'm ready to play."

Hamels allowed two runs in his one inning for the home team. Ramos also gave up a run as the visiting team won, 3-0. Nick Martinez was the pitching star with two scoreless innings, and the Rangers got a scoreless inning each from their top six relievers: Shawn Tolleson, Jake Diekman, Sam Dyson, Sam Freeman, Keone Kela and Tom Wilhelmsen.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

 

Texas Rangers, Cole Hamels, Jurickson Profar