Profar, Rangers put up strong defense

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jurickson Profar might play a few games this season in the outfield. But the kid is an infielder.

He showed his array of skills in Friday's 4-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Texas Rangers' 20-year-old prodigy made two dazzling plays, setting the tone for perhaps the best defensive night of the season in Arlington.

The Rangers also turned two double plays. And Adrian Beltre made two tremendous plays for the final two outs of the game, the last when he made a quick backhanded stab of a ground ball by Chris Heisey.

"We had some tough balls tonight," Profar said. "And we made the plays."

This night was about Profar's defense.

He made two memorable plays. The first one came on a ground ball into the hole by Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco to start the third inning. Profar made a nifty backhanded stop that left him three or four feet onto the outfield grass. He fired a one-hop laser to first baseman Mitch Moreland to nip Mesoraco.

"I thought I had time," Profar said of the throw. "But he's a catcher that runs fast. I had to get rid of it quickly."

Profar also pulled off the final out of the fourth inning, going to his left and onto his knees to snag a sharply hit ground ball by Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips. Profar jumped up quickly and made another strong throw to first.

"Tremendous," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He went to his backhand and had the awareness to bounce the throw over there in the dirt instead of throwing it all the way. The play he made to his left, he got up and threw it quick. The kid can play."

Profar started at third base Thursday as Derek Holland threw a two-hitter against the New York Yankees. He played shortstop Friday. Look for him to play second base for Ian Kinsler some time this weekend.

Profar said after Friday's game that it hasn't been difficult to move around the infield.

"It's still ground balls," Profar said. "I just try to catch them and throw it. It's different [moving around the infield], but they're still ground balls."