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Padres’ Profar has a Texas style, 12 years after his debut with the Rangers

Padres’ Profar has a Texas style, 12 years after his debut with the Rangers

Padres’ Profar has a Texas style, 12 years after his debut with the Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas — Jurickson Profar never thought he’d have the chance to show the Texas Rangers and their fans the player he thought he could be.

It will be an All-Star game for the first time at the retractable-roof stadium the Rangers opened two years after Profar was traded.

Profar was named the National League’s starting outfielder Wednesday night in the middle of the Padres’ three-game series at his original team’s home.

He will return for the All-Star Game at Globe Life Field on July 16.

It’s been nearly 12 years since Profar made his major league debut with the Rangers as a 19-year-old among baseball’s top prospects.

Profar homered in his first major league at-bat in Cleveland on Sept. 2, 2012, but injuries derailed a promising career.

The Curacao native was coming off his best season in 2018 when Texas sent him to the Oakland Athletics as part of a three-team trade.

A year later, the Athletics traded him to San Diego, and he’s now in his second stint with the Padres and is hitting .314, nearly 70 points higher than his career average.

His 11 homers give Profar a chance to reach a career-high of 20 in consecutive seasons — his last with the Rangers and his only one with the A’s in 2019.

“It’s going to be very, very special, especially since I never had the opportunity to play here,” Profar said. “I got hurt, I missed two years of baseball. And then when I came back, I didn’t play much.”

The trade came after he finally had a season with at least 500 at-bats. He had never had more than 286 before 2018. Still, there are no hard feelings toward the franchise that signed Profar when he was 16.

“I have a very, very good relationship with a lot of people there, from the coaching staff to the guys in the locker room who always loved me,” said Profar, now a bearded 31-year-old playing on a one-year, $1 million contract.

Profar was a shortstop when he was a top prospect for the Rangers, but he ended up as a utility player, in part because of shoulder problems that were part of his injury history.

He played second base for Oakland, but has primarily been an outfielder, usually in left field, with the Padres, where he has had his most consistent years.

The formative years will be on Profar’s mind in mid-July.

“I don’t know the right word to describe it, but it’s got to be special for him,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “He makes the All-Star team, which clearly this kid deserves as much as anyone in the league. To have it back to a place that I know was special to him here in Texas means a lot to him.”

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB