Big leagues, welcome to Jurickson Profar.
Yes, that's an inversion of the usual greeting for a 19-year-old rookie, but it seems appropriate after the Texas Rangers super prospect homered off Cleveland's Zach McAllister in his first career at-bat on Sunday afternoon. Profar was called up to the big league team on Saturday and took the place of Ian Kinsler, who is experiencing back stiffness. Profar started the game batting in the No. 9 spot and his solo shot to right field in the third inning put the Rangers on the board in an 8-3 win over the Indians at Progressive Field. Profar also added a double to go 2-for-4 in his debut.
Profar joins Pittsburgh's Starling Marte and San Diego's Eddy Rodriguez on this year's list of rookies to hit a home run in their first major league plate appearance. The list of overall players to achieve the feat is 113 names long, but Profar's young age puts him on an even rarer level of accomplishment. As ESPN Stats & Info notes, Profar is not only the youngest Rangers player to hit a home run at 19 years, 195 days but also the only teenager in American League history to homer in his first plate appearance. Only Whitey Lockman of the New York Giants was younger (18 years, 345 days) when he did it in 1945.
Profar, who will play shortstop for the Rangers in the future, entered the 2012 season ranked the fourth-best prospect in the majors by Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus and trailed only Mike Trout, Matt Moore and Bryce Harper in the ranking. Those three have already since been called up and proven themselves to varying degrees in the big leagues, now it's time for Profar to do the same.
Needless to say, he's off to a pretty good start.
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