ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jurickson Profar refused to put any blame for his inconsistent 2013 season on the fact that he was constantly moving positions and didn’t get much consistency.
“I’m not a guy that makes excuses,” Profar said Tuesday as he took part in the team’s winter camp for many of its younger players. “Last year was last year. I went back and worked hard for this year to be better.”
Profar hit .234 with six homers and 26 RBIs in 2013. He started at least four games at four different positions, including shortstop, third base, second base and left field. He got his second-most plate appearances at designated hitter.
That won’t be happening in 2014. With the Rangers’ trade of Ian Kinsler to Detroit for Prince Fielder, Profar now heads to spring training knowing he’s the second baseman. He says he’s very comfortable there.
Part of the reason for Profar’s optimism is how he played in winter ball this offseason. He hit .284 playing in the Dominican with one homer and five RBIs. But perhaps most encouraging is that he sported a .439 on-base percentage, helped by 24 walks to just 10 strikeouts in more than 100 plate appearances. He had just a .308 on-base percentage in the big leagues last year.
Profar also stole six bases and worked on his fielding at second base. The Rangers got very promising reports on his progress.
“You’re always encouraged when your young kids are in winter ball and they perform,” Washington said. “Pro has great aptitude and we are looking forward for him to try to be more consistent.”
Profar said his experience last year gave him a blueprint in improving on his play for 2014. He stressed being patient at the plate and waiting for his pitch and attempting to get better against left-handed pitching. Profar has hit just .180 against lefties in his brief major league career.
“I’m working hard every day to get better,” Profar said. “Last year, I had a good experience and I know what I have to do to succeed.”