NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Count Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan among those who can't wait to see if Jurickson Profar is ready for the big leagues. No decision has been made officially by the club in regards to whether Profar plays every day, but they certainly seem to be leaning that way.
Ryan said the choices are putting Profar in Triple-A Round Rock for six weeks or two months, similar to what the Angels did with Mike Trout in 2012, or stick him in the lineup in Arlington and see what he can do.
"We had that discussion with Elvis," Ryan said. "We chose to bring him on up because we thought he could handle it and was ready and it worked. Could it work again? I think the confidence is pretty high in our organization that it will."
Profar was called up in September and hit a home run in his first big-league at-bat, becoming the third teenager to do that. He added a double in that same game. He ended up 3-for-17 with two RBIs. Profar then went to winter ball and was struggling a bit at the plate before mild forearm inflammation ended his stay. The club decided to shut him down early just as a precaution. But manager Ron Washington has talked about how impressed he is with Profar and Ryan is interested to see how the youngster (he'll be 20 in February) will do.
"I remember seeing him the first time we worked him out in the Dominican," Ryan said. "I’m anxious to see where he is in his development. Do I think he’s going to be a legitimate big league player? Yeah, I do. We were successful having Elvis come from Double-A at that age. Is Profar going to be able to do that? Every indication is that he will. But it’s one of those things that we’ll have to wait and see."
Ryan said that Profar seems to have the ability to handle the pressure at a young age.
"I think we all agree that he’s a special make-up kid and he’s able to come in and relax," Ryan said. "But with the type of team we have, I think you can put him down in the order and probably take some pressure off him. I think if you brought him in and slipped him in front of that order, I think it’s a different situation with high expectations."