Jurickson Profar is the San Diego Padres second baseman, and he could bring excellent value to the team if he can regain the form he showed in 2018.
The move left many Padres fans asking whether or not Profar was the right man to slot in at second base for the Padres in 2020. If he can have a season as he did during the 2018 year, the concerns of the fans should be quelled.
Jurickson Profar’s 2018 season was nothing to sneeze at, with a WAR of 2.1 and a batting average of .254, he brought a lot to the table for the Texas Rangers. As the Padres look to bring in hitters that can hit from the left side of the plate and create runs, here is something to consider: in 2018, Ozzie Albies, a player any team would have loved to have at second base that season, created 4.9 runs per game. That same season, Profar created 5.6 runs per game.
At the risk of sounding like Billy Beane, take a look at Profar’s 2018 On-Base Percentage (OBP). In 2018, Profar’s OBP was .335, in a season where the lgOBP, or the on-base percentage the average hitter would have had in the same parks as Profar, was .331. Profar was undoubtedly an above-average hitter. The same idea rings true when considering on-base plus slugging. In 2018, Profar’s OPS was .793; the lgOPS was .766.
Jurickson Profar was an above-average hitter in his 2018 campaign. If he can get over a down year in 2019, he is a serious upgrade from Luis Urias, Ian Kinsler, and Ty France, the three alternatives to Profar at the Padres’ 2020 second base slot coming into the 2019 offseason.
Now how can the Padres coax a performance like the one Profar put on in 2018 out of the 27-year-old? Volume.
When examining Jurickson Profar’s total contributions to his teams’ run totals from 2012 to 2019, the only year Profar was above average in this stat was in 2018. The same year Profar saw almost 80 more plate appearances than any other year he played, over 250 if you eliminate 2019.
There has been the talk of Profar playing some days and the Padres using Greg Garcia or aforementioned France on other days. Still, the only way the Padres can potentially get a year like 2018 out of Jurickson Profar is if the team maximizes his amount of plate appearances. Only then will he be able to add value to the 2020 San Diego Padres.
At the end of the day, production from Jurickson Profar is not a guarantee; it never is from any player. However, if Profar can deliver a performance like the one he did in his 2018 season in Texas, Padres fans should be satisfied with the results.