Take yourself back if you will, to the days when Jurickson Profar was a 19-year-old stud prospect — the top prospect in all of baseball, depending on who you listen to — and the Rangers had a surplus of middle infielders in the picture.
Back then, there was talk that Profar could front a package from the Rangers to land pretty much anyone they wanted in a trade deal. There were two main names tossed around. First off, there was then-Tampa Bay pitcher David Price, who was traded on July 31 to the Detroit Tigers. Then, there was Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, arguably the most powerful hitter in all of baseball.
Of course, the Rangers deemed Profar essentially untouchable as he was a sure thing to hit the big leagues and set the world on fire. In hindsight, the idea of that just sounds pretty silly right now.
We won't even count 2012, when Profar got a cup of coffee in the bigs and had three hits in nine games, including a home run in his major league debut. But 2013 was a disaster for the one-time top prospect. He was used in a bad role as a super utility man and hit .234 with six homers and 26 RBIs. Then, when the Rangers cleared the way for him for 2014 by trading away Ian Kinsler in November, things turned for the worst again. He was injured in spring training and re-aggravated his shoulder injury on a rehab assignment and was shut down for the year. Like that, his age 21 season was gone.
Connecting you to your favorite North Texas sports teams as well as sports news around the globe.
Now, let's take a look at Stanton since 2012. That year, he hit 37 homers and led the league in slugging percentage. In 2013, he hit 24 homers despite battling nagging injuries. This year, he's at a different level at age 24. He leads baseball in homers (32), RBIs (88) and walks (77), and he's batting .295. He's a natural right fielder, which is a huge hole moving forward for the Rangers.
How nice would Stanton look in a Rangers uniform right now? Pretty beautiful, I'd guess. Meanwhile, Profar is going to have to prove he's better than a younger Rougned Odor in 2015. Cool.