There are pros and cons from a Ranger fan perspective to Jurickson Profar playing in the World Baseball Classic, though at this point in his career it's easier to argue there are fewer pluses than minuses. That doesn't make it an easy choice for Profar, however.
Profar, who on Wednesday told the Rangers that he's now undecided again about the WBC after saying earlier that he wasn't going to play, is coming into spring training with hopes of winning a job. What exactly that job will be is to be determined. He's been told to prepare for anything -- even the outfield. And general manager Jon Daniels indicated Tuesday that the club is open to considering keeping Profar on the roster even if he doesn't have a starting job.
With all of that in mind, it makes sense for Profar to stay in camp. First, Elvis Andrus is playing in the WBC, so Profar could get some time at shortstop -- or other spots -- in Cactus League games while he's out, which certainly couldn't hurt his development or chances of making the club. Second, he can spend the whole spring around the coaches and front office folks that will make the key decisions on the roster.
But I'm sure the Dutch want Profar to play. His fans in Curacao surely do and I'm sure they're letting him know that. He's got friends that are playing and I'm sure he'd enjoy it. It's not as if playing in the WBC would be a negative, either. He'd get a chance to play against some top international competition and participate in meaningful games. There's nothing wrong with that. But the Dutch play in Taiwan for pool play March 2-5. He'd have to travel there and miss probably a week (maybe more) of spring training, just for the pool play. If they advance, it would mean more time.
It's tough to say no to your country in these types of competition. And while I could sit here and tell you I'm sure Profar will get many more chances to play in the WBC in his career, that's not a guarantee either. Still, I think he's better off getting a full spring training in and gaining that experience. He's clearly got the tools to play in the big leagues, but he is short on professional experience. Every spring training drill, game and workout helps him in his career path. That's especially true if he's going to dabble at some different positions. But understand that it's a tough decision for him to make.
What would you do if you were Profar?