Milwaukee Brewers Trade Target: Jurickson Profar
This weekend, the Dallas Morning News looked at potential moves for the Texas Rangers this off-season. One name mentioned was Jurickson Profar. Would the Milwaukee Brewers make a move to grab the 25-year-old Profar this winter?
Who is Jurickson Profar?
The legend of Jurickson Profar started when he was just 11 years old when he helped the Little League team from Willemstad, Curaçao win the 2004 Little League World Series. That same team went back in 2005, with Profar on the mound for the championship game, lost to the team from Hawaii.
At age 16, the Rangers signed him to a player development contract, working him out as a middle infielder. He would come up through the Rangers minor league system quickly before playing against competition that was typically three to four years older than him. In 2011 he was featured in the Futures All-Star game and was ranked the 12th best prospect in baseball.
He would make his major league debut for the Rangers in August 2012, hitting a home run in his first professional at-bat. He would go on to play in nine games for the Rangers in 2012, spending most of the season in Double-A Frisco.
In 2013, at only age 20, Profar would play in 85 games for the Rangers between second base, third base, shortstop, left field and designated hitter, hitting .234 with 11 doubles and six home runs. It was his versatility in the field and great range that helped the Rangers go all-in on Profar’s potential. Texas would trade Ian Kinsler in the off-season to open up the starting job for Profar.
That is when the injuries began. Profar was sidelined in 2014 and 2015 with a recurring shoulder injury that required multiple surgeries. The Rangers didn’t want to rush him, being that he was only 22 years old, but the team had to move forward. Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus locked up the middle infield, Adrian Beltre was firmly planted at third base, and that left no room for Profar in the starting lineup.
Profar would spend 2016 and 2017 up and down with the Rangers and Triple-A Round Rock.
Finally healthy, Profar broke spring training camp on the Major League roster and saw significant playing time with the Rangers at all infield positions. In 146 games, he logged 607 defensive chances in 1,206 innings. His 25 errors did lead the American League, but still had a .950 fielding percentage.
Profar also began swinging the bat better with the extended playing time. He had a .254 batting average with a .335/.458/.793 split. In 594 plate appearances he had 133 hits, including 61 extra base hits, including a team high 35 doubles, a team-high 6 triples, and 20 home runs. He finished second on the team in RBIs and runs. He also took 54 walks and struck out 88 times.
Who is currently on the Brewers roster?
You could ask why make the move when you have Hernan Perez and Jonathan Schoop? Both are 27 years old and both are arbitration-eligible this off-season.
A lot has been made of Schoop’s struggles since getting to Milwaukee, and his 2018 stats were slightly worse than Profar. In 131 games, Schoop saw 473 at bats, hit .233 while collecting 22 doubles, one triple, 21 home runs and 61 RBIs. His walks to strikeout ratio however was lopsided 19 walks to 115 strikeouts. But since joining the Milwaukee Brewers, Schoop’s numbers took a dive.
Perez was slightly better than Schoop, in 316 plate appearances he hit .253, with nine home runs, 11 doubles and two triples. He drew 17 walks with 71 strike outs.
Why make the trade?
Profar will be just 26 at the start of the 2019 season, he has two years of control, and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season. A change of scenery and a chance to compete for a starting second base position would be good for Profar.
His arbitration estimate is $3.4 million according to MLB Trade Rumors which could be a good value for a starting second baseman who draws walks and has some power. Because of his past injuries and lack of playing time at his natural position, that could make him a good trade value.
Why not make the trade?
Perez is already on the roster and will likely be a better value in arbitration than Profar. The Milwaukee Brewers will have to decide on Schoop, who could bounce back after a terrible season. Also consider what you might have to give up for Profar, most likely an MLB ready player and potentially a mid-range prospect, if not more.
The Milwaukee Brewers could be on the lookout for upgrades at second base this winter, but it’s still early in the offseason.