One way to anger the Ranger fan base is to call General Manager Jon Daniels a “sleazeball” and wish a winless season on your former franchise, which is exactly what Ian Kinsler did in a recent interview with ESPN the Magazine. In a nutshell, Kinsler blamed Daniels for former CEO Nolan Ryan’s departure, creating a leaderless clubhouse with the Michael Young trade to Philadelphia and expressed his displeasure with Daniels’ plan to create a spot for current Ranger second baseman Jurickson Profar.
One way to shut up the former Ranger star is for Jurickson Profar to grow into the player most scouts project him to be; an all-star caliber player at some point. If Profar can reach his talent ceiling, then Ranger fans can all but forget Ian Kinsler. There needs to be caution with Profar and also some slack, as our own Eddie Middlebrook relayed in his player profile of young Jurickson. Profar will not develop into an all-star overnight, or he may never develop into that player. However, if he can develop into a solid everyday player, then that is exactly what Texas and it’s fans need.
Profar may never be in the MVP conversation and that is perfectly fine. But if he can match or eclipse an aging Kinsler, then Ranger Nation can rejoice. Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs.com has a baseball projection program called ZiPS which has an interesting comparison for 2014 between Profar and Kinsler.
According to ZiPS, Profar is projected for a split (batting average/on base percentage/slugging percentage) of .261/.330/.406 with 14 home runs, 57 RBI’s and 14 stolen bases. This culminates into a projected 2.7 WAR (wins above replacement). Kinsler, on the other hand, is projected for .271/.344/.420 split with 15 home runs, 68 RBI’s and 16 stolen bases and 3.7 WAR.
Obviously these numbers are not set in stone, but there is something to them. Szymborski has developed this formula over a number of years and there is some accuracy to them. If these numbers are close, then the Rangers have a solid, young player to fill the shoes of Kinsler. That production from Profar in his first full year at a set position should not only be enough to satisfy, it should be enough to close the mouth of the Detroit second baseman.
While we should not forget Ian Kinsler and what he did for this franchise, it’s time to move on and there is no better way than to have a young star move into the second base position and give us new memories. Ian was a fantastic player in Arlington and he’ll be a good player in Detroit, but he is now the enemy on the field.
Now is the time for Jurickson Profar. It’s time for him to show the world that he is that “special unicorn” that all the scouts believe he is. It’s time to shine, Jurickson.