Back in 2012, Jurickson Profar was untouchable.
Profar for Giancarlo Stanton? No thanks, they said. Profar for Cliff Lee? Nope. Profar for anyone in baseball? It wasn't happening.
Profar was baseball's top prospect and reinforced that hype in his first career at-bat (one of only 17 that year) when he sent a pitch into the right field stands at Cleveland with a smooth left-handed swing that reminded you of some of the prettier ones — of the Ken Griffey Jr. or the Rafael Palmeiro ilk.
He was as can't miss as can't miss can get. Now, he's gone for another year after missing all of 2014 with a shoulder injury that he chose to rehab instead of have repaired. Now, that injury has resurfaced and Profar will have surgery on Monday, meaning he's almost certainly out for the 2015 season, and if he plays it definitely won't be in Arlington with his last baseball activity coming in 2013.
This is devastating not only for the Rangers, but also for Profar, who has seen his value go through the floor and has missed his age 21 and now age 22 seasons.
As crazy as it is to think about, Profar must now be eyeing the latter half of the 2016 season to return to the Rangers, because he'll almost certainly need a few hundred at-bats, at least, in the minors that year before coming back to the Rangers. And after that 2016 season, Profar will be eligible for arbitration, possibly without having played a big-league season in three years. Three years after, he'll be a free agent.
Profar's days of being a cheap, controllable young star are nearing an end, which drastically kills his trade value, even if he does prove he can play, which he has yet to do.
It's getting to the point where Profar is going to succeed as a Ranger or fall on his face as a Ranger, and that's extremely unfortunate for the Rangers.