Should the White Sox sign Jurickson Profar?

I feel there needs to be a disclaimer here that I am not at all worried about Oscar Colas and I believe he will break camp starting in RF. But as I watched the Netherlands get knocked out of the WBC this morning, it reminded me that Jurickson Profar is still not on a roster. That got me thinking about whether or not he would be a fit for the White Sox.

I’m not the only one wondering why he hasn’t signed. Check out this article from Fangraphs. It provides some insight into the player being discussed that is important to our conversation. Profar can play a number of positions, but he only plays LF well at this point in his career. He can fake the other OF positions, which for most teams makes him less attractive. However, being better than Gavin Sheets in RF is a fairly low bar and one Profar should be able to clear. He can also pretend to play the infield, but this is actually where I think there could be some utility. With the new shift rules, outfielders are really the only players that can shift. Having an additional second baseman in LF that moves over when someone like Joey Gallo is up, is a nice option to have.

The question remains however, does he fit this roster? He would need to be the 4th outfielder. Right now, that role looks like it would be there for Gavin Sheets. That is a bit problematic for a few reasons: he can’t back up CF, the Sox have added 2 left handed bats in front of him (Andrew Benintendi and Oscar Colas), and he’s playing out of position. There are seemingly more plate appearances available for Profar and it gives the roster some more flexibility.

Where I really see the difference though, is that Profar is a more patient hitter and gets on base more than any of our other options. Profar’s BB% has been about 11% the past 2 years. The White Sox BB% in 2022 was 6.3%. Profar’s K% was just under 16% the past two season. The White Sox K% in 2022 was 20.7% which was actually down from 22.9% in 2021. And revisiting BeefLoaf’s Ground Ball article, while Profar is about league average in GB%, that is much better than a majority of the Sox.

If you’re going to add a legit 4th OF, Profar is the best available. So I would be all for it. The question now becomes whether or not he would take that role. The Rockies are in the mix already as they’ve seen some injuries and that would likely mean a starting spot. Other teams will inevitably encounter the same problems. I think the White Sox should get in front of that and grab the best available free agent while they have a chance. David Peralta‘s $6.5-$8M contract should set the market fairly low for Profar, so it’s not gonna break the bank to add a whole lot of insurance to this roster.

What do you think? Hit me up on Twitter and let me know.


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