This week I am going to take a closer look at Jurickson Profar, who is widely considered one of the top three prospects in major league baseball. Profar was signed out of the Curacao as a sixteen year old for 1.5 million dollars and that investment is paying off as Profar has advanced all the way to the major leagues last season at the tender age of 19. Profar is set to be the next great short stop in baseball and while patiently waiting for his opportunity to crack the deep Rangers lineup, seems to have found a spot in the lineup due to Ian Kinsler’s recent injury. However, I think that Profar, despite having a very bright future, is very overrated as a prospect.
Let’s take a look at the skills that he posses and analyze each aspect of his game. The best aspect of Profar’s game is his defense; Profar has fantastic actions at shortstop and has the ability to make both the routine and spectacular play on a regular basis. I would grade both Profar’s arm and glove as 60 grade tools, two tools whose value is increased by the scarcity of good defenders at shortstop in baseball right now. To me the next best is his approach at the plate.
Profar has a great batters eye especially for his age is ready to not only take his fair share of walks but also has the ability to drive pitchers insane by extending at bats that a 19 year old has no business doing. For me this is one of the most important indicators of a future prospects success at the big league level. Profar has above average but not elite bat speed, and this coupled with his approach should allow him to hit for a high average at the major league level. This leads us to the tool I have the least faith in, Profar’s power.
Many evaluators have graded Profar’s power as a present 50-grade tool with the chance of becoming a 60-grade tool if Profar adds strength and some leverage to his swing. I disagree with this assessment for one reason; I don’t think Profar has the raw power (based on watching him take batting practice at the futures game) to ever develop 60-grade power at the major league level. Power comes from two things in baseball, leverage and bat speed. Profar sacrifices leverage for the sake of having a better approach and shows above average but not plus bat speed. To translate into a statistical approach and fantasy relevance I don’t think Profar will hit 20 home runs on a regular basis.
In summary, while Jurickson Profar is a very exciting all around prospect who regularly shows all five of his tools to be above average who lacks an elite tool. In my opinion it is very hard for a prospect that does not possess a single 70-grade tool to become at superstar at the major league level. I could see Profar becoming a slightly better Alexei Ramirez, a consistent 4 -war player at his peak but never a superstar. Therefore I would consider Profar to be a very good prospect but not the elite top of the minor leagues talent that many top prospect evaluators have graded him as over the past two years.
While Profar should be a usable player especially in Al-only leagues I would not expect him to hit more then .270 or hit more then 8 home runs the rest of the way in the big leagues. Add him in deep leagues but keep caution in shallow mixed leagues.
Charles Kurz is a co-founder of RotoAnalysis and scouting “aficionado.” Look for his work all season long regarding prospects and follow him on Twitter @NoLimits16423!
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