The Jurickson Profar sleeper campaign is about to go into sleep mode. The Rangers' starting second baseman suffered a torn muscle in his right shoulder and will miss the first 10-12 weeks of the season. Profar, 21, is an enormously talented prospect, and the Rangers think so highly of him that they jettisoned Ian Kinsler in the offseason in order to give him everyday at-bats. But the injury puts his fantasy owners in a bit of a bind. Should they hang on to him? Or should they toss him to the waiver wire?
It's a rhetorical question.
Profar could be a fantasy stud at some point in his career, but right now, he's simply not worth keeping if he's just going to be dead weight for the first half of the year. It isn't just that shoulder injuries are pesky and that there's no guarantee Profar would be able to perform at peak condition when he returns -- assuming he doesn't stay out longer than 10-12 weeks. To this point, there's no indication that Profar is on the cusp of being a beast anyway. In his nine-game ascension to the big leagues in 2012, he collected just 3 hits in 17 at-bats; in 2013, he hit .234 in 286 at-bats; and in spring training this year, Profar was hitting .222 before going out.
Yes, this is a small sample size. And yes, he possesses eligibility at third and short as well in most leagues, which is always handy. But if you were to just isolate his numbers and toss away his name, age and upside, then factor in that he's batting ninth and has very little power, he isn't a guy you'd be particularly interested in. His prospect status masks those weaknesses; they're correctable, and he's young. But if he's not playing, he can't exactly get better, and by the time he gets back on the field, he won't have made any progress at all. He'll still be the same raw, inexperienced second baseman, only now he'll be a raw, inexperienced second baseman who's working his way back from an injury that will have prevented him from swinging a bat for half the year.
In the end, owners are better off cutting him loose and fetching a replacement who'll help them more over the course of the season. (And by the way, three months is an abominable amount of time to wait for someone to get healthy, and the odds of someone else immediately picking Profar up are very slim. It's low-risk drop.) If you're in the hunt for a new second baseman, Kelly Johnson, Dee Gordon (eventually), Neil Walker, and Anthony Rendon are all adequate fill-ins, most of whom could still be available in your league. Dan Uggla is also out there, if you have the stomach for him.