Jurickson Profar is set to, and totally expected to rack up 600 plate appearances in 2014, which is, barring anything unforeseen, going to be his first year as an everyday player in the big leagues at age 21, which he'll turn next month.
Profar got a good start on the expectations that will come with his added responsibility with a solid winter-league showing in the Dominican Republic playing for Licey and former big league manager Manny Acta.
Profar played primarily shortstop in the league, though he's expected to the Texas Rangers' everyday second baseman in 2014. In 88 at-bats he hit .284 with a homer and five RBIs with a .393 on-base percentage and six stolen bases. They're good, not great numbers, but a decent showing to build on for the youngster who will be seeing much better pitching here in about two months.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Profar “showed his All-Star potential at the plate and defensively,” Acta said. “Plate discipline and hand-eye coordination were outstanding. … Mature beyond his age, but definitely needs to play every day for his own good.”
That was probably a big part of his struggles last season when he was basically a utility player who got two starts in a good week and sometimes none. It seemed he was never able to get in any kind of rhythm, and that will hopefully change for Profar in 2014 as he gets the lion's share of playing time at second base.