Texas Rangers

Profar comes up big for Rangers in final game as everyday shortstop

The return of Elvis Andrus on Monday will bring Jurickson Profar's temporary reign as Rangers shortstop to an end.
The return of Elvis Andrus on Monday will bring Jurickson Profar's temporary reign as Rangers shortstop to an end. The Associated Press

The end of the line has arrived for Jurickson Profar, as unfair as it might seem.

Oh, he will still be a member of the Texas Rangers, but he will no longer be their starting shortstop. And, no, he won't be moving one position to the right.

Shortstop duties will be handed to Elvis Andrus. It's been his job the past nine seasons and was for the first two weeks of this season before an errant fastball landed near his elbow April 11 and broke the ulna bone.

But that's all better now, and Andrus is expected to be activated Monday for the opener of three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. The Rangers have no intention of benching Rougned Odor and making Profar their everyday second baseman.

That's out of Profar's control. But he could control the past two months, except for three April days in the MLB concussion protocol, and he exits the longest everyday stretch of his career content with how things went.

"Very good," Profar said. "This is the first time I got this chance to play this long at the major-league level, and it gave me a chance to keep improving on my game. I'm very glad I got this opportunity. I'm going to try to keep working on everything. I got a chance to know what I can improve and to know myself at this level."

Profar went out with a bang Sunday as the Rangers rallied to a 13-12 victory over the Colorado Rockies in a steamy Father's Day matinee at Globe Life Park.

Profar swatted a three-run homer in the sixth to give the Rangers a brief lead and then doubled in a run in the seventh to bring them within a run at 10-9. Down 12-9, the Rangers scored four times in the ninth, with the final two coming home on a bloop single by rookie catcher Jose Trevino.

It was an emotional time for Trevino, who became a father June 10, made his big-league debut Friday and started his first game Saturday. He was also mindful of his father, who passed away in October 2014.

"You can't write this stuff," Trevino said. "This is unbelievable."

Profar batted .251 with a .318 on-base percentage in the 56 games he played for Andrus. But he posted a .483 slugging percentage, thanks to eight homers, 18 doubles and four triples, and left many impressed with the quality of his at-bats.

He didn't give away many of them, and manager Jeff Banister said that Profar is among the team's leaders in hard outs.

"My hitting, I'm feeling like is coming pretty good," Profar said. "My average doesn't say it. A lot of hard hits that were outs, but I know if I keep it up, I'm going to be in a good place pretty soon."

Banister agreed. The good at-bats are a by-product of Profar's baseball IQ and his competitive nature. Profar loves to play and loves to win, and within that is making himself a tough out.

"This is the longest period of time I've seen him," Banister said. "On the non-physical side, I'll tell you this is a very strong competitor. He loves to compete. He loves to be on the field. He's got a sharp aptitude for the game."

Profar can also play all four infield spots, though it's unlikely that he will play first base, and Banister said that versatility will allow him to give Profar as many as five games a week. That should be enough for Profar to remain in rhythm.

He could replace Isiah Kiner-Falefa as the third baseman on days when Adrian Beltre plays at designated hitter and play second and shortstop when Odor and Andrus need breathers.

That doesn't add up to everyday at-bats, but if the everyday playing time the past two months taught the Rangers anything, it's that Profar can play every day and needs to be in their lineup as often as possible.

"That's not in my hands," Profar said. "All I can do is show that I can play."

He did.

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