Just when it looked like the San Diego Padres might get a lost season from Jurickson Profar, he’s turned it around playing a new position.
A.J. Preller dealt for Jurickson Profar hoping he could hold down the position until a more long-term option was found.
Well, it didn’t take as long as expected for that long-term solution to present itself in the form of Jake Cronnenworth.
That suddenly left Profar without a position to play, and quite frankly, his bat didn’t warrant much playing time.
But Jayce Tingler decided to move him to left field and keep the switch-hitter at the bottom of the lineup.
I’ll admit I was highly skeptical about taking a guy who was below-average defensively at his primary position and moving him to left field.
Sure, Profar has spent time in the outfield throughout his career, but he just over 200 innings out there. And actually, if you look at the numbers he’s been a plus defender in the outfield.
And that’s exactly what he’s showed for the Padres with nearly 200 innings in left field this season. FanGraphs gives him 2 DRS and a UZR of 0.5.
What really led me to write this was the play he made in the game on Wednesday. Elias Diaz of the Rockies hit a rocket to left field that should have been an easy double. But Profar hustled over to cut it off before it got to the wall and made a great throw into second to hold him to a single.
If that doesn’t happen there’s a good chance Diaz scores that inning to tie the game and who knows how things may have played out differently.
But not only has the defense been surprising, but he’s also started to hit the ball better as well. He wound up hitting .256 in August and is hitting .276 so far in September.
Over his last 10 games, he’s 13-for-38 (.342) with a couple of home runs and 5 runs scored. You’ll certainly take that production from your nine-hole hitter.