The Legend of Jurickson Profar | The Process Report

The Legend of Jurickson Profar

Jurickson Profar is going to be a fantastic major-league player. The 19-year-old phenom is at-or-near the top of most prospect lists, and is already the youngest player in American League history to hit a home run in his first at-bat. By hitting the go-ahead RBI in the Rangers’ extra-inning win against the Rays on Saturday, Profar sent his hype train chugging away from the station with enough fuel to circle around Cooperstown until his enshrinement.

Profar ducked out of the way on an inside fastball from Kyle Farnsworth to start the game-winning at-bat. The teenager said the fall was all part of his grand scheme:

Sure enough, Profar took the next offering in the same area down the right-field line for an RBI double that put the Rangers ahead in the 4-2 win in Tampa. “I was acting like I was scared so he could throw the same pitch,” Profar told ESPN Dallas 103.3’s Eric Nadel and Matt Hicks after the win. “He did, and I got a good swing on it.”

The result is correct. Profar did take an inside pitch for ball one. On the second pitch, he did get a good swing off Farnsworth and recorded a double. The rest of his story doesn’t check out, however.

First, the two pitches Profar saw were not the same pitch. According to brooksbaseball.net, Farnsworth’s first pitch was a 90 mph cutter. The second was a four-seam fastball that registered just under 92 mph. From this chart, you can see the two offerings had different movement, both vertically and horizontally.

Second, the two pitches were not in the same location. The first pitch was yanked way inside; about two feet off home plate. The decisive pitch was not close to being inside. In fact, prior to the pitch being thrown, Rays’ catcher Jose Lobaton set up on the outside corner. Farnsworth’s fastball missed the intended target, catching too much of the plate, and falling much closer to the outside corner than the inside.

Profar’s take on the at-bat adds to his mythology. The facts say he did a nice job of hitting, but a not-so-nice job of retelling the story.



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