After showcasing his talent for the Rangers this spring, Jurickson Profar will try to do the same on the world stage.
Texas announced Wednesday that MLB.com's No. 1 prospect will replace injured infielder Yurendell De Caster when the Kingdom of the Netherlands meet the winner of Pool 2 at San Francisco's AT&T Park in the World Baseball Classic Championship Round next week.
Profar originally declined the chance to represent the squad last month, choosing instead to spend time with the Rangers at their Spring Training camp in Surprise, Ariz. Had he committed to playing in the WBC in Tokyo, he would have missed three weeks of spring camp.
But the 20-year-old Curacao native, who is batting .222 with five RBIs in the Cactus League, will join the national team Thursday ahead of Monday's semifinal against either the USA, Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico.
"It's going to be fun," Profar told MLB.com. "I'm going to play on the big stage. I'm excited and looking forward to it."
Profar, who led Curacao to the 2004 and 2005 Little League World Series, batted .281 with 14 homers and 62 RBIs in 126 Texas League games with the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders before earning a September callup. In nine big league games, he hit .176 with a homer and two RBIs.
"It should be quite an experience for him playing in that spotlight and a high level of baseball," Rangers manager Ron Washington told MLB.com. "He's already shown us he can play. It's quite an opportunity for him."
With regular shortstop Elvis Andrus and Minor League infielder Leury Garcia both already competing in the WBC, Texas' coaching staff have had a chance to see a lot of Profar, signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2009.
Only center fielders Jim Adduci and Julio Borbon had played in more spring games (17) than Profar, who has a team-high 36 at-bats in 16 contests. Although the team has seen enough of the shortstop to allow him to compete in the WBC, Washington would not guarantee his spot on the Opening Day roster just yet.
"Jurickson Profar hasn't made this team, so I'm not speculating on it," Washington said. "Our decision will be based on what's best for him and the organization. We haven't come to any conclusions."