Profar homers in first look at leadoff for Rangers

Profar homers in first look at leadoff for Rangers

SEATTLE -- Jurickson Profar had two hits off Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez on Saturday night. His reward was the leadoff spot in the Rangers' lineup Sunday against right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma with Elvis Andrus getting the day off.

Profar led off Sunday's game with a home run at the age of 20 years, 95 days. He's the youngest player to do so since Lou Klimchock at age 18 on Sept. 28, 1958, for the Kansas City Athletics.

Youngest Players to Hit Leadoff Homers*
With his home run Sunday, Jurickson Profar became the fifth-youngest player in history with a leadoff shot.
Player Age Date
Lou Klimchock 18.348 Sept. 28, 1958
Bob Kennedy 19.256 May 1, 1940
Mickey Mantle 19.328 Sept. 13, 1951
Sibby Sisti 19.355 July 16, 1940
Jurickson Profar 20.095 May 26, 2013
John Briggs 20.103 June 21, 1964
*from home run historian David Vincent

Washington's other choices were center fielder Leonys Martin or second baseman Leury Garcia. But Profar is 4-for-13 since returning to the big leagues after Ian Kinsler went on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right rib cage.

"I just felt like he has the best chance of getting on base," manager Ron Washington said.

Since Profar arrived, Washington said, "I'm seeing the same things I've been seeing. He's a baseball player. He's not afraid of the game. He goes out there and plays his game. He goes up there and has good at-bats. When you have good at-bats, good things happen."

Profar was 2-for-19 in his September callup for the Rangers last season but said, "I'm a lot more comfortable this time."

This is the first time that somebody besides Kinsler and Andrus has batted leadoff this season. Rangers leadoff hitters went into Sunday's game with a .361 on-base percentage, tied for the fourth highest in the American League. They were fifth with 34 runs scored.

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.