Jurickson Profar returns after WBC and talks about that play
Profar, who was thrown out at first while slowly walking back to the base after a single, said the baserunning blunder is in the past.
“Especially when it’s something negative,” said Profar, whose teammate Wladier Balentien homered right after he was tagged out on catcher Yadier Molina’s throw. “I’m ready to forget about that and the season here.”
.516 Jurickson Profar’s batting average in seven games for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.
The mistake doesn’t wipe away Profar’s .516 batting average and six runs scored in seven games in the tournament.
“It was very good except the last game,” he said. “I made mistakes; I made a mistake. We had a lot of opportunities to win that game.”
For the Rangers, the tournament offered a chance to see Profar work in center field for the first time in his career. Profar is already the most versatile player on the roster. He can play above-average defense at third, short, second and first, as well as at the corner outfield spots. Manager Jeff Banister said the club will take a look at Profar in center as spring winds down. But his time away from the infield also means he needs reps at shortstop and the other infield positions. Delino DeShields, Banister said, is still likely to be the backup center fielder, but having Profar as an option is intriguing.
Profar worked with 10-time Gold Glove center fielder Andruw Jones, who was a coach with Team USA.
“He was out there with me all the time, teaching me stuff. It was great. I was trying to learn everything possible,” Profar said.. “It’s like shortstop but a little bit farther. You have more time [to react], but the view is the same.”
He was out there with me all the time, teaching me stuff. It was great. I was trying to learn everything possible.
Jurickson Profar on working with 10-time Gold Glove center-fielder Andruw Jones
Profar said Jones taught him to get a read on a ball before making his first step, unlike his natural shortstop position, where quick instinctual reactions are often the difference between stopping a ball in the hole and a base hit.
“I’m an infielder so my first steps are a little quick, as soon they hit the ball,” he said. “In center field you have more time so you have to be in control.”