With Spring Training just weeks away, some notable free agents are still available to be signed. Of those still left, Jurickson Profar remains one of the best still available. After making his debut in September 2012, he became a free agent for the first time after the 2020 season. This is his second stint in free agency, and this is what Jurickson Profar can provide to a prospective team.
Despite struggling earlier in his career, he became a mainstay in the San Diego Padres lineup last season. In 2022, the 29-year-old hit .243/.331/.391 with 15 home runs and 58 RBI. He managed 140 hits, 53 of which were for extra bases. Not to mention, he had an OPS+ of 111.
He is a switch hitter who seems to do better when hitting from the right side. As a right-handed hitter, he hit .259/.352/.382 with three home runs and 19 RBI. As a left-handed hitter, he was .237/.322/.395 with 12 home runs and 39 RBI. A significant change to his game in 2022 was his ability to get on base. Profar was walked 73 times in 2022, the 9th most in the National League. The Padres used him most in the leadoff spot for his ability to get on base. As someone hitting at the top of the lineup on one of the best teams, Profar can play in the top two-thirds of any roster in the majors.
One of the biggest changes to his game in 2022 was in the outfield. For a long time in his career, Profar was a utility player playing any defensive position in the infield or outfield. However, this season Profar spent the entire season in Left Field for a total of 1237 2/3 innings (5th most in the National League). As a result, Profar led the National League in Range Factor (1.64), Double Plays Turned as a Left Fielder, and Outfield Assists (10). Profar was 5th in fielding percentage and was just shy of being a Gold Glove nominee.
He's Jurickson Profar! pic.twitter.com/OUJS1XsX3X
— MLB (@MLB) April 12, 2022
According to Baseball Savant, he has an above-average arm, something that he has improved on over the past few years. Within two seasons, his throwing speed has gone up by 2.5 mph. Despite his sprint speed being below league average, he has managed to make his fair share of phenomenal catches.
Where could he go?
As a solidified corner outfielder, Profar has a lot of options when it comes to a new team. Ultimately it would be up to Profar which kind of player he wants to be in 2023. According to Spotrac, Profar’s market value is around $15 million per season. A contending team like the Houston Astros or Los Angeles Dodgers could add Profar as a depth piece. While he may not play every day with those teams, he has a chance to help a team contend for a World Series and replace an injured regular.
He could sign with a team like the Minnesota Twins or Tampa Bay Rays. A team that could make the playoffs, and where he can play as an everyday starter. Finally, he could play for a team like the Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins, or San Francisco Giants and be a star on a team that may not make the postseason but will play every day. Hopefully, he will get the chance to sign soon.
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Justin grew up a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. He's begun writing to express his opinions and engage with his fellow readers. Follow Justin on Twitter @J_Merrlles