The Cinderella Dutch team might get a nice boost as they attempt to halt the clock just before midnight. Reports out of Dallas indicate Jurickson Profar, the consensus best prospect in baseball, could join the Netherlands team in time for the World Baseball Classic semifinals next week in San Francisco.
Profar’s name appears on the Dutch roster though he initially declined the invitation to play for his country(ish), opting to stay in camp with Texas. With the Oranje still alive and the time commitment considerably lessened, Profar says he will join his compatriots if they ask him to take part.
Profar told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News “If they give me a chance, I will go”. The Rangers shortstop is getting more than a fair shot to break camp with the Rangers, logging more plate appearances among Rangers players during the Cactus League.
Dutch third baseman Yurendell de Caster left today’s game against Cuba in the fifth inning, forcing the even-younger-than-Profar Xander Bogaerts into action. If de Caster is out and Profar has the chance to start for the Netherlands, why wouldn’t they bring him in? Bogaerts had a single in the deciding ninth inning against Cuba, but at just 19, he has even less experience than Profar, who at least got a taste of the big leagues in 2012.
The more talent, the better for the upstart Dutch. Unless the Italians advance against all odds, the Netherlands will be severely outgunned no matter which team they face at AT&T Park. More talent is always preferable, though I don’t know how much “talent” has to do with the success of the Netherlands (Andrelton Simmons notwithstanding).