Rangers shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar entered 2011 known for two things: a traditional shortstop’s skillset and his ridiculously young age. Profar debuted in full-season ball just two months after turning 18, and after a 2011 season that saw him hold his own in the Northwest League with a .250/.323/.373 line.
Profar’s often been compared to current Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus for his speed-and-defense game and extreme youth for his minor league levels. But that’s deviated this season.
Look through Profar’s 2011 statline and you’ll find all sorts of encouraging signs. After all, this is a guy WAY young for his level playing a premier defensive position–a .235/.310/.350 line would be seen as perfectly acceptable.
So, a .269 average? Excellent stuff.
32 walks? Great for a table-setter.
Just 29 strikeouts? Absolutely fantastic. Future leadoff man, right?
.378 OBP? Confirms the above.
7-for-12 in steals? Okay, this one’s mildly disappointing. Still, speed’s not important, really, as long as his defensive quickness is there. He can lead off any day with his K/BB ratio.
.221 Isolated Power? Wait, stop.
Jurickson Profar, an 18-year-old shortstop in full-season ball (just picture me taking long, dramatic pauses before listing each of those attributes), has a .221 Isolated Power. That on top of an obviously fantastic sense of the strike zone, good contact skills, and the requisite speed and defense.
Given that Profar wasn’t supposed to profile as any sort of power threat, this is big news, just like the Low-A breakouts of Mike Trout and Nick Franklin last year, two players that were thought to be contact-and-defense oriented until they unexpectedly started clearing fences.
It should be noted that Profar isn’t a slugger–he’s only clubbed six homers, but boasts 18 doubles and five triples in his 55 games. But of course, his body should mature over time, adding power to this, which means he may now project as a doubles hitter who can clear the fences 10-20 times per year. Or, to put it another way, imagine Orlando Cabrera with plate discipline.
Given that Cabrera was a well-above-average player anyway in his prime, that tells you pretty much all you need to know about Profar’s current status. If he stays anywhere near this pace for the rest of the season, he’s a no-doubt top-50 prospect, and perhaps much higher than that. Texas seems to be producing very interesting prospects all over the place in the last half-decade, and with Profar’s star shining brighter and brighter, he could prove to be one of the most significant finds yet.