Is Jurick Profar the next Elvis Andrus or the next Pedro Strop? Signed out of Curacao for a Rangers record of $1.55 million, Profar arrived in the United States with his sights set on the middle infield and not on the mound.
Before the July 2nd signing period, most teams considered Profar a better pitching prospect, thanks in part to his electric fastball (low-90s that can hit 93 mph) and a 55-future grade slider thrown from a low three-quarters slot. However, Profar insisted he wanted to develop as a shortstop and the Rangers signed him with that knowledge.
As a position player, Profar has very intriguing tools. I was told by a scout that his glove, while obviously still raw (after all, he is only 16 years old), has a chance to develop into an above-average major league tool to match his already established plus arm. His bat, which was originally a question mark for some teams, has started to turn heads and has been deemed much better than advertised.
Not long ago, I decided to test out my Papiamentu skills and engage Profar in a conversation. Well, let's just say that I was delighted to learn that his English skills were far superior to my Papiamentu skills (what skills?). The following is just a brief exchange with Profar that should serve as an appetizer for his upcoming debut season. I'm sure that other publications will eventually conduct more in-depth interviews with Profar and I encourage everyone to read anything they can on this player.
TEN QUICK QUESTIONS WITH TEN QUICK ANSWERS
Question 1: How does it feel to be a professional ballplayer?
Profar: It feels good. You receive a lot of attention. It's great!
Question 2: Why are you a better shortstop than a pitcher?
Profar: I just feel better at shortstop. I like to play everyday and I want to be the captain on the field.
Question 3: How has your life changed since signing with the Rangers?
Profar: My life hasn't changed.
Question 4: What are your goals for the 2010 season?
Profar: My goal is to start at a high level and do my best at that level.
Question 5: Are you ready for the pressure of playing in the United States at such a young age?
Profar: For sure I'm ready to play in the [United] States. I'm ready to make things happen.
Question 6: Our first few discussions were in Papiamentu, but your English is way more advanced than I anticipated. How many languages do you speak and how long have you been studying English?
Profar: I speak four languages and have been speaking English for three years.
Question 7: Who is your favorite major league player? Which player are you most similar to?
Profar: My favorite player is Elvis Andrus. I'm most similar to Elvis Andrus and Julio Borbon.
Question 8: What is your best baseball skill?
Profar: Batting and fielding.
Question 9: What is your favorite thing to do outside of baseball?
Profar: I like to teach my brothers and other players.
Question 10: Is there anything you would like to tell the Rangers' fans about yourself?
Profar: I just want to tell them to wait for my debut and enjoy. It's going to be fun watching me play!
THE PAPIAMENTU VERSION
ta jurick profar e siguiente elvis andrus o e siguiente pedro strop? signed afó di curacao pa un rangers disko $1.55m, profar arrived den e states ku djé sights aparato riba e middle infield í no riba e mound. promé e juli 2 signing periodo, mas teams considered profar un mehor pitching prospect danki den parti na djé eléktriko fastball (low 90s esei por bati 93) í un 55 benidero anotashon slider thrown fo'i un baho 3/4 slot. ounke, profar insisted e homber ker na develop ban un shortstop í e rangers signed e ku esei konosemento.
ban un posishon player, profar ha masha intriguing ermèn. ami tábata told desde un scout esei djé anskun, mientras evidentemente ainda krudo (after henter, e homber ta so 16), ha un chèns na develop den un above-average mayor league ermèn na lusafé djé ya established plus brasa. djé raton di anochi, kuá tábata originally un pregunta seña, ha started na cambia heads í ha been deemed hopi mehor than advertised.
no largu pasá, ami decided na èksamen afó mi papiamentu skills í engage rangers' shortstop prospect, jurick profar, den un kombersashon. bon, let's net bisa esei ami tábata delighted na siña esei djé ingles skills were leu superior than mi papiamentu skills (what skills?). e following ta net un corticu back-n-forth ku profar esei mester sirbi ban un appropriate appetizer pa djé upcoming debut temporada. i'm sigur esei otro publications lo eventually komportashon mas in-depth interviews ku profar í ami apoyá kada na lesa algu nan por riba esaki mucha.
dies lihé preguntanan ku 10 lihé answers
Q: kuantu does e sinti na ta un professional baseball player?
Profar: e feels bon. abo ricibí muchu atenshon. it's gran!
Q: pakíko bo ta un mehor shortstop than un pitcher?
Profar: ami net sinti mehor na shortstop. ami gusta na hunga everyday í ami ke na ta e kapitan riba e kunuku.
Q: kuantu ha bo bida changed desde signing ku e rangers
Profar: mi bida ha no changed.
Q: kí ta bo goals pa e 2010 temporada?
Profar: mi meta ta na kuminsa na un haltu horizòntal í hasi mi mehor na esei horizòntal.
Q: bo ta kla pa e pressure di playing den e united states na tal un hoben edat?
Profar: pa sigur i'm kla na hunga den e states. i'm kla na hasi kosnan pasa.
Q: nos prome poko discussions were den papiamentu, ma bo ingles ta kaminda mas advanced than ami anticipated. cuántu idiomanan bo papia í kuantu largu tin abo been studying ingles?
Profar: ami papia kuater idiomanan í tin been speaking ingles pa tres aña.
Q: kén was/is bo favorí mayor league player? kuá player bo ta mas similar na?
Profar: mi favorí player ta elvis andrus. i'm mas similar na elvis andrus í julio borbon.
Q: ta ki bo mehor baseball skill?
Profar: batting í fielding.
Q: ta ki bo favorí kos na hasi pafó di baseball?
Profar: ami gusta na instruí mi brothers í otro players.
Q: ta ei algu abo lo gusta na bisa kada rangers fans di yourself?
Profar: ami net ke na bisa them na spera mi debut í djòdjò. it's bai na ta un delisia watching mi hunga!
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[At this time I will not be answering any specific questions about Profar or the Rangers' minor league system in general.]