Profar getting plenty of spring playing time

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rookie infielder Jurickson Profar was back in the lineup Monday, starting at shortstop against the Giants. He has played in 16 games, tied for the most of any player in Spring Training. With Elvis Andrus and Leury Garcia gone to the World Baseball Classic, the Rangers are getting an extra-long look at Profar this spring.

The reviews have been positive even though he entered Monday's game hitting .212. His seven walks led the Rangers and left him with a respectable .350 on-base percentage.

"He can play," manager Ron Washington said. "It's nothing I didn't already know about him but the kid is not afraid of the game. That's the way he goes about his business; he's not afraid of swinging the bat or playing defense. He's a baseball player. He's done a good job. He really has."

The Rangers still haven't made a decision if Profar, ranked by as the overall No. 1 prospect, can make the team as a utility infielder. They don't want him sitting around if he's not going to play. So the Rangers are looking externally for a veteran infielder who can play shortstop, and they are also giving Yangervis Solarte a chance this spring even though he has limited experience at the position.

"We're still sorting through what we have in camp," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "I thought Solarte has played pretty well. He hasn't played out there much, but he's made a couple of good plays."

The Rangers want at least one player on the bench who can play shortstop. Jeff Baker could win a job as a utility player but he has never played shortstop in the big leagues.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.