Padres

The 1st All-Star nod for Padres' Profar has a Texas flair, 12 years after his debut with Rangers

Profar will finally play in the Midsummer Classic 11 years after being named baseball's top prospect.

Jurickson Profar never thought he had the chance to show the Texas Rangers and their fans the player he thought he could be.

He's set to be an All-Star for the first time in the retractable roof stadium the Rangers opened two years after Profar was traded.

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

He'll be back 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 for the Rangers as a 19-year-old who was among the top prospects in baseball.

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

The native of Curacao 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 A's traded him to San Diego, and now he's on his second stint with the Padres and hitting .314, nearly 70 points higher than his career average.

His 11 homers give Profar a chance to reach his career best of 20 from back-to-back seasons — his final one 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 really got a chance to really play here,” Profar said. “I got injured, missed two years of baseball. And then when I came back, I didn't play much.”

The trade came after he finally did have a season with at least 500 at-bats. He'd never had more than 286 before 2018. Still, there aren't any hard feelings toward the franchise that signed Profar when he was 16.

“I have a really, really good relationship with a lot of people there, from coaching staff, clubhouse guys that always loved me,” said Profar, now a bearded 31-year-old playing on a $1 million, one-year deal.

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

He played second base for Oakland but has been mostly an outfielder — and usually in left — 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 for it, but it's got to be special for him,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “You make the All-Star team, which clearly this guy is as deserving as anybody in the league. For it to come back to being a place that I know was special to him here in Texas, I know it means a lot to him.”

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

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