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Jurickson Profar added to Team Netherlands for World Baseball Classic semifinals

Mar 13, 2013, 8:50 PM EDT

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John Blake, the executive vice president of communications for the Texas Rangers, announced tonight on his personal Twitter feed that shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar will join up with Team Netherlands for the four-team, single-elimination Championship Round of the World Baseball Classic.

Profar stayed back in Rangers camp when the 2013 WBC began because he wanted to focus on winning a spot on the Opening Day roster. It didn’t help that Netherlands has had to play its games in Asia.

But now that there’s a real shot at the title, Profar has decided — with the encouragement of Rangers manager Ron Washington — to head to San Francisco. That’s where the four finalists will face off in a true semifinal. Profar is batting .222 with a .654 OPS in the Cactus League, and the Rangers are probably thinking that a change of scenery might help his psyche.

Widely considered the best prospect in baseball, Profar hit .281/.368/.452 with 14 home runs, 62 RBI and 16 stolen bases over 126 games last year at Double-A. He is also a strong defender at shortstop and could certainly have an impact on the remaining games of this tournament. The 20-year-old is a native of Curacao, an island off the coast of Venezuela. It’s a constituent country of the Netherlands.

  1. bobulated - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Netherlands best position already is SS with Simmons, where do they play Profar?

    • dalvo4 - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:50 PM

      Exactly. There is no need for him. Netherlands got there without him. They don’t need him. I would have said thanks but no thanks

  2. dalvo4 - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Not a fan. You shouldn’t just be able to join the team for the finals. Besides they already have Simmons and boegarts who are more than capable. Guys who commit to the entire tournament should have precedent over a guy who joins in just for the finals. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t steal either of these other premier prospects starting spots

  3. freddieoh - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Dalvo4, didn’t the Dutch team have some injury problems in their infield?

    • freddieoh - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      And is this roster move pursuant to the pretty much the same sort of rule as in the MLB postseason?

    • cktai - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:24 AM

      No, Roger Bernadina, Wladimir Balentien, and Yurendell de Caster sat out or got injured in the game against Cuba. The former two are outfielders, while de Caster was shifted from third base to right field after the injury to Balentien.

      • freddieoh - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:19 AM

        That’s what I thought – the 3B de Caster had to be removed from the roster due to his injury, and Profar seems (to me anyway) a logical choice to replace him on the roster given his talent, versatility, and availability in close proximity as the Nederland team swung through the Phoenix area on their way to San Francisco.

        I’m still not sure I understand the other poster’s vitriol – was there another candidate for the injury-necessitated roster move who hasn’t been mentioned here and who would have been a better choice than the consensus #1 prospect in baseball?

      • cktai - Mar 14, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        I think he might not have realized that there was an injury.

        As for a better choice, well there is one player who I’d prefer even more than Profar, and that is Kenley Jansen. The Netherlands have had fairly poor pitching so far, and their starters usually haven’t lasted all that long. In a close game, having someone like Jansen on the mount instead of Bergman, Heijstek, or Boyd could be the crucial difference.

        Not sure if it is allowed to replace an infielder with a pitcher though, and Kenley Jansen is probably unavailable, or he would have participated like he did in 2009.

      • cktai - Mar 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        When I tried to find out why Jansen is not part of the Dutch WBC roster (turned out to be injury) I discovered that Didi Gregorius is also Dutch, and born on the mainland no less. That means that 5 shortstops of baseball america’s top 100 prospects lists from 2012 and 2013 are Dutch (Simmons, Gregorius, Schoop, Bogaerts, and Profar). Interesting.

  4. cktai - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    Profar is called up to replace Yurendell de Caster who injured a tendon plate in his left foot while running the bases during the second Cuba game. De Caster was the starting third baseman for that game, ahead of Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts.

    I know that technical director Robert Eenhoorn has said he would prefer to keep the players who have worked so hard to make the final, so it seems that Profar will mainly be an infield backup.

    • freddieoh - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Makes sense – Profar can play 2b & short proficiently, can easily handle third, and in all likelihood would wrestle a corner outfield spot to a draw if he was absolutely needed there. And with his great speed on the bases and legitimate bat, what’s not to like? I’d certainly expect him at the very least to be highly useful off the bench in a “one & done” format.

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