The Toronto Blue Jays Could Seek Positional Flexibility and Latent Talent in Jurickson Profar
Over at the New York Post, Joel Sherman pontificated on the possibility of the Texas Rangers moving former No. 1 Prospect and current bench piece Jurickson Profar. Within Sherman’s piece, which is mostly Yankees-centric, he also mentions the Toronto Blue Jays as potential suitors for the young, switch-hitting Honkballer:
Still only 24 years old, Profar has had a storied career without a whole lot of success at the MLB level. In 2011 Profar climbed to No. 1 on the Rangers prospects list and 12th overall in Baseball America’s midseason list. Those high marks have never been realized at the highest level, but Profar has had success in Triple-A and rose to international stardom on the World Baseball Classic stage.
The biggest question mark for Profar remains his two-year absence from baseball in 2014-2015, when he suffered a shoulder injury in spring training after the club had traded away Ian Kinsler to open up second base. Profar re-injured the shoulder during his recovery, missed the remainder of the 2014 season and was out all of 2015 after undergoing surgery to correct the issue.
|4 Yr||4 Yr||206||718||633||75||145||21||3||12||53||5||6||65||142||.229||.309||.329||.638||71|
None of Profar’s stats are much to behold at his point, but he’s either been in a backup role or hurt throughout his entire career. While I wouldn’t recommend acquiring a player with a career OPS+ of 71 to play every day, coaxing some value from Profar while spreading him out across the diamond and giving him plenty of playing time to prove himself might not be a terrible answer to the Blue Jays lack of utility depth or positional flexibility on the roster.
In his career he’s played all over:
- Second Base – 57 games
- Third Base – 38 games
- Outfield (Left Field) – 30 games
- First Base – 19 Games
- Designated Hitter – 26 Games
It might seem like the Rangers were just looking for a position for him, but it might be more a result of protecting him from further shoulder injuries or working him into the lineup that has been relatively consistent since 2015.
Over 206 career games, Profar has produced a non-existent WAR, both through Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs. The projection systems over at Fangraphs, however, see some value in Profar still, with 0.3 fWAR through both Steamer and Depth Charts systems in 2018. That’s only over an expected 30 games played. Could Profar work his way into a utility role, getting 100-ish starts and producing an above-average season? There’s certainly no guarantee of that, but chances are he’s not going to get that shot in Texas in 2018. But the Texas Rangers keeping Jurickson Profar out of the lineup is none of my business.
If the Blue Jays were willing to give Profar legitimate playing time, they might be able to sneak some extra value out of him, allowing him to play nearly every infield and outfield position. The Yankees probably can’t do that, but Profar is left without a choice here.
Sherman also mentions in his piece that Texas is interested in New York’s pitching depth – something the Blue Jays don’t really have to offer right now. With the Yankees’ desire to get a deal done before Friday’s Rule 5 Draft roster freeze, if the Blue Jays have any serious interest in Profar, they’ll have to act quickly.
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