When the Texas Rangers signed Lance Berkman to serve as their designated hitter, it allowed the team to make a decision that they hope will help their future. Jurickson Profar is the biggest prospect in the Rangers' farm system, and MLB.com reported on Jan. 7 that they will now send him back to Triple-A to open the season.
Before Profar came to the team, the designated hitter position was open, thanks to the departure of Michael Young and Mike Napoli. The first thought was moving Mitch Moreland to DH, Ian Kinsler to first base and start Profar at second base.
With the arrival of Berkman, there is no need to move Moreland to DH. General Manager Jon Daniels said that they don't plan on moving Kinsler from second either, and this means that Profar can remain in the minors, which has the perk of postponing his arbitration date.
This has one downfall.
The Rangers' centerfield position is still a sore spot. Last season, Josh Hamilton played in center and the Rangers entire outfield was a strength. The problem is that the Rangers didn't want Hamilton in center last year, but there was no other viable option. Leonys Martin will try, for the second season in a row to capture the spot, and if he fails, Craig Gentry is there to step in.
That is a step down in offensive production in both cases, unless Martin finally turns it on this year. There is always the chance of signing a free agent like Michael Bourn, who would immediately become the new Texas leadoff hitter. However, for now at least the Jurickson Profar questions have been answered.