SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Yhency Brazoban gave up a leadoff home run in the ninth inning on Monday, cutting the Rangers' lead to 12-11. Then he walked the next batter. When he threw ball one to the next hitter, his shortstop came in to give him a few words of encouragement. Brazoban is 30 and has pitched in 116 Major League games and two playoff games. The shortstop is 18 and was in his first ever Major League Spring Training game. But after Brazoban walked a second batter with two outs, moving the tying run into scoring position, Jurickson Profar went to the mound again to settle down his pitcher. "That's him," manager Ron Washington said. "He's locked into the game. He loves to play the game. He is not afraid."
Profar, who also played in an intrasquad game with the Rangers, handled himself well, going 1-for-2 with a double. He also helped Brazoban get through the ninth. It was just a quick viewing of one of the Rangers' top Minor League players. "It was very exciting," Profar said. "I was nervous in the intrasquad game, but this was fun." Profar, one of three Rangers prospects listed in Baseball America's Top 100 this year, is one of over 50 Minor Leaguers who are working out here at the complex. He is not officially in Major League camp. The Minor Leaguers do not official report until March 7, but the Rangers complex is really open year-round, and many of the farm players are already here. When needed, some are brought over to the Major League side as extra players. Profar was given the chance on Monday. He may be back. "It's huge for them," Washington said. "We have been doing that for the last three years. It lets these kids know they are capable of playing over here."