Profar claims he's healthy after missing 2 years

Former top prospect was last in Majors in 2013 before right shoulder injury

January 20th, 2016

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' first full-squad workout in Spring Training is scheduled for Feb. 24. Infielder Jurickson Profar said he'll be at full strength that day.

If so, it will be the first time in three years.

"Yeah, I'm very good," Profar said Wednesday. "I'm ready to play baseball."

That's what the Rangers want to hear. They were able to get a brief look at Profar this week during a mini-camp at Globe Life Park in Arlington, and they want to see him completely at that level in Spring Training.

Profar, once one of the top prospects in the Minor Leagues, is eager to show what he can do again after missing almost all of two seasons because of a torn muscle in his right shoulder.

Profar is on a throwing program and able to throw from a distance of 135 feet without issues. He said he was throwing about "90 percent" on Wednesday, but that was good enough on a frosty January morning. He will wait until the Arizona desert before airing it out.

His two-year odyssey is almost over.

"Yeah, sure," Profar said. "I just, at some point, knew I'm going to be ready. That was the mindset, just work hard every day and make sure I'm ready for now."

Profar, who turns 23 in February, was last seen in the Major Leagues in 2013 when he played in 85 games for the Rangers and hit .234 with 11 doubles, six home runs, 26 RBIs and a .644 OPS. He was used mainly as a utility infielder, but the Rangers saw enough from a 20-year-old rookie to deem him ready to be the everyday second baseman.

Ian Kinsler was traded to the Tigers that winter for first baseman Prince Fielder with the idea of Profar taking over at second. But Profar showed up to Spring Training in 2014 with a bad shoulder and wasted a year trying to rehab it without surgery.

Every time he tried to stretch out to throw from 105 feet, he had to be shut down because of recurring pain. Profar finally gave in and had surgery on Feb. 23, which forced him to miss all of the 2015 season.

Profar was able to play in just 12 Minor League games on medical rehabilitation assignment at the end of the season and another 20 in the Arizona Fall League. He was used exclusively at designated hitter, but Profar said the Fall League work was productive. He was 20-for-75 (.267) with two home runs and 20 RBIs in 20 games.

"Yeah, it was good to play again, to get the feeling, because I played against good pitchers," Profar said. "It was great."

Profar is on the big league roster, but the Rangers don't see him making the team in Spring Training. They have Elvis Andrus at short, Rougned Odor at second and Hanser Alberto and veteran Pedro Ciriaco as the utility candidates.

The Rangers want Profar to begin the season playing everyday shortstop at Triple-A and regain lost time. He is fine with that after what he has been through.

"I just want to play," Profar said. "Just want to play, and I know by playing it's going to take care of itself. I know I can play baseball. ... So now that I'm healthy, everything is good and now everybody's going to see it."