Jurickson Profar will have plenty of work to do this month, as a first-time father and a soon-to-be husband.
He’s all grown up now, the one-time can’t-miss prospect who, as things stand now, can’t even get a September call-up from the Texas Rangers.
At-bats will be scarce this month if everything goes as planned, with the regulars all season playing each day until the last day without any significant time off. Yes, that includes Rougned Odor and Mike Napoli, who have struggled regularly.
So, Profar will be changing diapers and helping out his fiance with late-night feedings and whatever the heck else she needs him to do.
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Baseball will not be an issue, nor will it be for Willie Calhoun, the prize of the Yu Darvish haul, or Ronald Guzman, who is looking more and more like the Rangers’ future first baseman.
The lack of a promotion isn’t a knock on any of the three, general manager Jon Daniels said, but just a matter of how Daniels and manager Jeff Banister wanted to shape the bench for the stretch run.
Nevertheless, Profar’s future is looking more and more like it will be with another franchise.
“Nothing’s changed as far as how we view him,” Daniels said. “The players may take it that way, because it’s very personal and I respect that. But it’s not a reflection of how we evaluate the players or feel about them.
“It’s just about the opportunity and the at-bats that aren’t there right now.”
Profar, the game’s No. 1 prospect in 2013, will be out of options next season, so he will make the Opening Day roster if the Rangers don’t find a trade for him. They are looking for one, just as they were at the trade deadline.
The story goes that Profar was so angry that he wasn’t traded July 31 that Triple A Round Rock manager Jason Wood had to bench him for a game.
Not so, according to a club official, who approached Profar about the story and was told by Profar and a few coaches that it never happened. Plus, Profar had an injury that required him going on the minor-league disabled list.
Profar has made no secret that a trade is the best option for him. He wants to be an everyday player with the Rangers, the team that signed him out of Curacao at age 16 and had him penciled in as the starting second baseman in 2014 before a series of shoulder injuries cost him two seasons.
Rougned Odor became the starting second baseman during the 2014 season and, with the exception of one month in 2015, has been a fixture there. The Rangers signed him to a six-year, $49.5 million deal in April.
Profar’s best position is shortstop, where Elvis Andrus is entrenched and now rates as one of the league’s top shortstops. Andrus is two away from his first 20-homer season, something that was unimaginable at the start of the year.
Odor, despite his struggles this season, isn’t going to be replaced.
“Odor has not been as productive as he can be, bottom line,” Daniels said. “Outside of the power, the year probably across the board is not as he can be or we know he will be. We know that, and there’s different ways of handling it. We sent him down a couple years ago, but we are now, we’re going to continue to give him that opportunity.
“That’s not to say it’s an endless rope. It’s not. But the way we’re looking at it, if we were going to make that move, the time was earlier in the season, not with three or four weeks left.”
Profar has played all four infield positions and left field. He also played center field for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. It would seem that if there were at-bats for any player in the minors, it would be him.
For instance, if Andrus were to wake up with a sore neck and be unable to play for three games, Profar would be the best shortstop to replace him.
“That’s probably correct,” manager Jeff Banister said. “But we’ve got guys that will be here that can and will be able to fill that role if you’re talking about a two-day span. We’ve been that road with Jurickson before. We can all think that it’s just as clean and easy as just coming up and if that happens, it happens.”
Confidence has risen in Drew Robinson to the point that Banister feels comfortable starting him at shortstop for a game or two. Phil Gosselin will be recalled Tuesday and would be another option.
The Rangers recalled outfielder Jared Hoying from Round Rock to be a pinch-runner and late-game defensive substitution, and left-hander Yohander Mendez to pitch out of the bullpen as a lefty specialist even though he was a starter all season at Double A Frisco.
They joined third baseman Will Middlebrooks, catcher A.J. Jimenez and right-hander Paolo Espino, three players who are unlikely to see time in high-leverage situations.
They are role players, not everyday players like Profar, Calhoun and Guzman.
Their seasons appear to be over with no regular at-bats to go around, and Profar’s future looks more and more like it will be with another franchise.