Texas' Profar two-steps up to Majors

Rangers promote top prospect after infielder Kinsler hits DL

By Jonathan Raymond / Special to MLB.com | May 19, 2013 4:37 PM

Jurickson Profar is heating up at exactly the right time.

Baseball's top prospect has hit safely in 19 of his last 21 games, raising his average 71 points during that stretch and capping it with his first-ever two-homer game Saturday night.

The Rangers have noticed, and with Ian Kinsler headed to the 15-day disabled list with a right intercostal strain, they've called up their best prospect.

Profar went from Triple-A Round Rock to the Majors, where he was in uniform with Texas for Sunday night's matchup with the Tigers. He was not in the starting lineup, though, with Leury Garcia at second and Elvis Andrus at short.

Profar told MLB.com on Sunday that he was just looking to make the most of his latest chance in the Majors.

"Obviously, I feel bad for what happened to Kinsler, but he's going to be back soon. I see it as an opportunity for me to play here," Profar said.

Round Rock manager Bobby Jones notified Profar of the move Sunday morning before the shortstop headed off to Arlington.

"He was excited. It's not the first time, he got to the bigs last year, but he was pretty pumped up," Jones said. "Brought him into the coaches' room with Spike Owen, Scott Coolbaugh, some of the other coaches hanging around the room, and we just told him he was going up."

The 20-year-old hit .176 in a nine-game trial in the bigs last season, but showed off his power potential at the Ballpark in Arlington, homering in his first big league plate appearance before adding two doubles in 17 at-bats.

Jones added that, from what he'd seen lately, Profar has the chance to excel with Texas.

"If he stays within himself like he has the past couple weeks here, he should be fine. Earlier, he was batting around at the ball, chasing at off-speed stuff, just going at it. But lately he's staying back, letting the ball come to him," Jones said. "He's always had the confidence. I guess last year helped him a lot and then with Spring Training. When the season started, even when he was struggling, he thought he was ready right then. Confidence has never been a problem with this kid."

The Curacao native started off slowly this season, with his average bottoming out at .207 on April 25. The next day, he went 1-for-4, setting off the current 21-game stretch in which he's hit .326 (28-for-86).

That run has brought his overall season line with the Express to .278/.370/.438 in 37 games with four homers and nine RBIs.

Rangers manager Ron Washington told MLB.com that it looked like Profar had been making a deal of progress in adapting to Triple-A pitching.

"The key is, he recognizes what they're doing," Washington said. "That's pretty wise of a young man to be able to say that at 20 years old."

Profar rocketed to the top of prospect lists last season after batting .281/.368/.452 in 126 games for Double-A Frisco.

Jonathan Raymond is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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