Jurickson Profar, the top prospect in baseball, will skip the World Baseball Classic to remain in Texas Rangers camp so that he can attempt to make the Opening Day roster.
General manager Jon Daniels confirmed the news, first reported by a Boston radio station, that Profar will not play for the Netherlands. Profar, from the Dutch island territory of Curacao, had already left the clubhouse and won't be available for comment until later in the day.
“Jurickson has decided to stay in camp with us and not participate in the WBC,” Daniels said. “It was a unique situation and a tough situation for him. We left that decision up to him. He communicated to us that he wants to put himself in the best situation to make the club.
“We’re going to let that play out over the course of the spring. He understands that he’s competing for a bench role and that it would have to be more than a traditional bench role.”
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Daniels said that third baseman Adrian Beltre suffered a minor injury to his right calf a few days ago and decided to skip first-round games with the Dominican Republic. Daniels stressed that the injury is so minor that Beltre is not restricted in any way, but he is using an "abundance of caution" in skipping the first round.
Beltre will consider playing if the Dominican team advances.
“He’s going to take it slow,” Daniels said. “He’s able to do everything. He occasionally feels it after the end of a long run. ... I think we'll take it easy with him early on. The big thing is getting him ready for the season.”
Said Beltre: “It’s been sore for a while, since I’ve been working out at home. I came here, and it was still sore. We wanted to make sure what it was. There’s still some inflammation, but nothing serious.”