CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 02: Jurickson Profar #2 of the Texas Rangers celebrates after hitting a solo home run at his first MLB at bat during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on September 2, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
There weren't many positive points to take away from Friday's AL Wild Card Game home loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
There was Yu Darvish's stellar performance, and then there was Jurickson Profar's pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth inning to keep a rally going and eventually give David Murphy a chance to tie the game with one swing of the bat. He didn't, but Profar showed his mettle under the bright lights and on the biggest stage — a do-or-die elimination game.
Profar, in case you forgot, hit a home run in Cleveland in his first major-league at-bat. Later in the game, he doubled. He got three more starts on the year. There's been a lot of talk about Ron Washington's usage of his bench and giving his regulars days off this year, and Profar could've been used a little more effectively. But hindsight's 20-20, and we're not going to harp on that right now.
But let's look to the future. Profar has plenty of options as far as where he can go in 2013, but one thing is almost certain and that's that he'll be on the big-league roster to open the 2013 season.
He's naturally a shortstop. Of course, there's that Elvis Andrus guy. He's worked a lot at second base. Of course, there's Ian Kinsler, who was extended prior to the 2012 season. There's been discussion that one of those two could be moved in a trade or that Kinsler could move to the outfield, allowing Profar to step in at second base. There's even been a little discussion of Profar moving to center field to replace Josh Hamilton (after he signs elsewhere).
So it's not clear yet, but rest assured, Profar will be playing for the Rangers in 2013, and most likely early on.
There was some concern of whether he'd be ready to go in 2013 as a 20-year-old, but c'mon, homer in his first at-bat and a key hit in a playoff game? Yeah, I think he's ready.