ST. PETERSBURG -- Jurickson Profar, MLB.com's top-rated prospect
, proved in his first Major League at-bat that he may indeed have what it takes to succeed in the bigs after belting a homer off the Indians' Zach McAllister.
The Hall of Fame also found the moment special and requested that bat from Profar.
"He's a special 19-year-old," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's not afraid at all."
The shortstop has impressed Washington so much that the skipper put him in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Rays for his second career start in the No. 9 hole.
"I think his offense is a little advanced," Washington said. "He has a decent approach. Just give him an opportunity to stay balanced and do the things he has to do with his hands."
Washington said it will be hard for Profar to find his way into the lineup, citing that he prefers to play the players who got his team into the top spot of the American League West. Most of Profar's opportunities will come as a pinch-hitter.
The situation presented itself Friday night in a 3-1 loss to the Rays in the top of the 11th inning. Washington elected to have Profar pinch-hit for catcher Luis Martinez. Although Profar struck out, Washington said he was very impressed with the appearance.
"If I could replay it and change things, that first swing he took, I certainly wish he coulda caught it," Washington said. "It was a very good swing for a young kid to come off the bench in the first pitch he sees. He went up there and he acted like he was some kind of veteran. He really did."