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Former can’t-miss prospects Jurickson Profar and Yohander Mendez showed up big last night.


Sometimes you just have to wait. Last night’s 4-0 gem over the San Diego Padres is a textbook lesson in patience.

Possibly the two biggest prospects in the Rangers system the last few years have been Jurickson Profar and Yohander Mendez.

Without question the two biggest disappointments have been Jurickson Profar and Yohander Mendez.

Profar was the number one ranked prospect in all of baseball for a number of years. He was a can’t miss. He was the coveted in every trade, and turned down every time. His very first major league at-bat he homered. It all looked story book. Until reality set it.

He played nine games that first season. Other than his first at-bat, nothing spectacular. But he was just nineteen. Most nineteen-year-old kids are mastering the art of selfies, not sliders.

He was given a chance the next year. Sort of. They jacked the kid around so much. They had him at second, at third, at short, out in left. He hit .234 with an OBP of just .306. Nothing spectacular.

The it all caved in. He lost the next two years to an injury that never seemed to heel. It appeared as though he would never play again. When he finally came back in 2016, he was anything from a phenom. They shoved the kid all over the field, even adding first base to his resumé. He could play all over the field. But he couldn’t hit anywhere in it.

He continued not hitting in 2017. It didn’t look so good for him.

But maybe in ’16 and ’17 he was just making up for the two years he lost in ’14 and ’15. He was still so young.

Something happened in 2018 that hadn’t happened before. He found a home. Due to the injury to Elvis Andrus, Profar finally got a chance to have a position. For two months he was a shortstop. And he blossomed at the plate. Last night he fulfilled a promise six years in the making. He went 3-for-4, including his seventeenth home run of the season, with three runs batted in, giving him 73 for the season. He’s hitting .256, and his OPS is just a tick from .800 at .798.

Jurickson Profar has finally proven he belongs.

It might be a bit too early to claim that about Yohander Mendez but he is fortunately enough to play for a team where they have no better alternatives.

Mendez was by most accounts a top-five prospect in the Texas system. But the curse of the Rangers is long and wide and no prospect escapes it.

The Rangers system is like the Bermuda Triangle for pitching. Somewhere in the vastness of the system, their talent just disappears in mid-air. Mendez couldn’t escape fate.

For some reason, he never quite dominated the way he was supposed to. He arrived to the Rangers in 2016 amid not much fanfare, and got into just two games. Cup of coffee type stuff that wouldn’t have hinted at a brilliant career or a Martin-Perezian career. Not enough sample size.

They gave him another shot in 2017 but not much of one. And all out of the pen.

Desperate for arms, the Rangers gave him his first start in June. He gave up six earned runs in three innings, which, by this team’s standards, warranted another start. Hey, a 14.73 ERA is coveted in the Rangers system.

But he had a bad night in Kansas City the night before his second scheduled start and was shipped all the way back to Single-A. Nothing says don’t do whatever you just did again like waking up in Kinston, North Carolina.

But, out of options and out of alternatives, the Rangers gave him another chance. And he has made the most of it.

Six scoreless innings against Minnesota. Four innings, two runs against Oakland. Five scoreless in last night’s efficient, dominating gem against San Diego.

Three starts since being banished. An ERA of 1.20.

Sometimes it takes finding a home at shortstop. Sometimes it takes finding a home in the middle of Nowhere, North Carolina.

Last night was cause for some optimism in what has otherwise been a forgettable season. Profar and Mendez have arrived.


Ariel Jurado (2-5, 7.03) vs. Eric Lauer (5-7, 4.80)
Game time: 7:40

The Rangers have never hit against Jurado.
The Padres have never hit against Lauer.