Best prospect in baseball joins Rangers, to start Monday against A's
Special to MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Jurickson Profar, baseball's top prospect, is back in the big leagues.
On Sunday, the Rangers placed Ian Kinsler, their leadoff man and most consistent hitter, on the disabled list retroactive to Friday with a strained rib muscle in his right side and recalled Profar, MLB.com's No. 1 overall prospect.
Manager Ron Washington said Profar will get a decent amount of playing time while Kinsler is on the disabled list, including a start Monday against Oakland.
"Obviously, I feel bad for what happened to Kinsler, but he's going to be back soon. I see it as an opportunity for me to play here," Profar said.
Kinsler, who leads Texas with a .302 batting average, tested himself Sunday but experienced discomfort. The Rangers then made the move to send him to the DL and bring Profar up from Triple-A Round Rock.
"He went in the cage, he swung, he actually didn't feel comfortable and he doesn't want it to get worse," Washington said. "Along with him, we decided to put him on the DL. We'll give him some time to make sure it's right."
Kinsler did not speak to reporters before Sunday's game, but Washington and general manager Jon Daniels suggested Kinsler's injury is not serious enough to keep him out past 15 days. They said the Rangers acted out of caution.
"It's probably going to be at least a week or so," Daniels said. "One, you don't want to play short and two, you don't want him to push it to come back before he's ready and make it something bigger than it is."
With Kinsler out, the Rangers will get another look at Profar, who played sparingly with the Rangers in September last year, hitting .176 with two doubles and a home run in 17 at-bats over nine games.
This season at Round Rock, playing mostly shortstop in addition to second base, Profar is hitting .278 with seven doubles and four homers in his first 37 games at the Triple-A level. He's walked 27 times and stolen six bases.
"It's different baseball there," Profar said. "You've got a lot of offspeed [pitches] and stuff. I have tried to adjust myself to the pitching and work from there."
Profar has been seeing more offspeed pitches as he has proven he can hit the fastball, Washington said.
"The key is, he recognizes what they're doing," Washington said. "That's pretty wise of a young man to be able to say that at 20 years old."
Leury Garcia, 22, has been filling in for Kinsler thus far.
"I'm not going to stop playing Garcia either because it's his opportunity to play a little bit," Washington said. "I'll try to keep him in the groove there while he has a chance, but [Profar] will play."
Washington said he may give shortstop Elvis Andrus a day off while Kinsler is on the DL, allowing Profar and Garcia to fill out the Rangers' middle infield.