Exclusive Scouting Report: AFL Rising Stars West

Jurickson Profar, MIF/DH, Texas Rangers (Age: 22 — 2015 Levels: Injured)

Profar likely has the most unusual backstory of any AFL prospect in some ways. Though he’s as young as most players in the league — if not younger — Profar has been heralded by prospect watchers for years, so much so that he almost seems old despite being just 22. Injuries have cost the former super-prospect lots of development time the last few years, and while he isn’t playing the field this fall in Arizona (he suffered an injury to his throwing arm) as a precautionary measure, he’s showing the same feel to hit and baseball IQ that made him among baseball’s best prospects just a few years ago.

Though he is playing DH to simply get at-bats this fall, Profar’s bat is far more of a table-setting, “average-over-power” approach than a tried-and-true DH. The switch-hitter has shown the advanced feel for the barrel and consistent line-drive contact from both sides that allowed the Rangers to deem Profar’s offense to be MLB-ready at just 19 years old in 2012. Profar showed consistent bat-to-ball skills, spraying line drives from both sides of the plate to all fields. He hasn’t shown much power as he’s regaining at-bats, at least not to me, but I saw a player consistently working counts, squaring the ball, and collecting hits. When he’s on base, Profar’s baseball IQ is on display; he’s definitely a threat to both steal bases off the pitcher, as well as take the extra base. Time will tell what comes of Profar’s strange journey from prospect superstar to oft-injured anomaly, but from my looks at him this fall, I’m confident his overall offensive strengths still have a good chance to be present in his MLB return — whenever that may be.

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