Jurickson Profar’s career continues to sputter, as the Texas Rangers optioned him down to triple-A Round Rock. In his place, the Rangers recalled infielder Pete Kozma, who was claimed off of waivers from the Yankees. Profar had recently lost a share of the left field job to Delino DeShields, and will need to earn his way back into Texas’s long term plans.
Profar debuted in 2012 when he was just 19 years old and homered in his first plate appearance. He was so smooth and so natural. Then he was the consensus number one prospect in baseball prior to the 2013 season. A strong couple of months at Triple-A earned him a promotion back to the Rangers later that year, where he hit .234/.308/.336. Then a series of injuries decimated Profar for the next two years. A torn shoulder muscle in Spring Training knocked him out for all of 2014. Then he tore his labrum in 2015, requiring another shoulder surgery and keeping him sidelined for almost all of that season. Who knows how much that absence hurt his development?
When he returned in earnest last year, he started out at Triple-A and hit well enough to earn a promotion. However, he hit just .239/.321/.338 while starting at six different positions. This year, he’s cratered, hitting .135 with no extra-base hits in 46 plate appearances. No wonder Texas has sent him down.
Profar had so much talent that he’ll surely get another chance. If not in Texas (where, frankly, they are well stocked at almost every position), then somewhere. But there’s no doubt that he simply has not developed the ability to hit the ball with authority and is nowhere close to fulfilling his potential. And it’s exceptionally difficult to see a young man with so much promise thwarted, seemingly, by rotten luck.