Thanks in large part to both Mike Trout and Bryce Harper taking baseball by storm last season, this 2013 class of rookies will have a ton of pressure on them to succeed right away. Leading the way as the most likely start is Jurickson Profar. Can the talented shortstop for the Rangers really match the level of those two just a season ago?
Profar made an immediate splash in the majors last season, when he hit a home run in his very first MLB at-bat. He finished the 2012 season with just that one home run, and his .176 batting average was nothing special either, nothing to suggest you would draft him to your fantasy baseball team. However, those numbers are much like Trout’s in his brief call up in 2011.
Going into Spring Training, many feel that the Rangers will have Profar start at shortstop. He has the talent and maturity to do so, even if he just turned 20 years old. He projects as a type of hitter who can hit for both power and average for his team. His size and ability to stay lean will also allow him to stay in the middle of the field, which provides a ton of value since he is a plus-defender at shortstop.
As far as living up to the likes of Trout and Harper, that is something Profar can’t worry about too much. For starters, no one expects a rookie to be a contender for the American League MVP right away. The Rangers are actually just hoping to compete with the likes of the Angels and Athletics in the AL West.
Look for Profar to at least get extended playoff time this season, as the Rangers want to start building for the future. He is the best prospect in baseball, and he has been on the radar since appearing in the Little League World Series. His approach at the plate, plus his defense, will allow him to make a fairly smooth transition to the highest level.
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