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Regular playing time has finally opened up for this former elite prospect

This former elite prospect finally has consistent playing time available.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With Prince Fielder going on the DL with a neck issue, regular playing time has finally opened up in Arlington for the talented and somewhat forgotten Jurickson Profar.

The Rangers reportedly did not call up Joey Gallo in part because they want to give Profar every day at bats. Fielder looks likely to have surgery on his neck, which keeps the playing time door open for the rest of the season.

Prior to 2013, Profar was the consensus #1 overall prospect in baseball and was graded by Baseball Prospectus as having a future 70 hit tool, which is elite and would translate to a .300+ batting average. His future power was graded as above average, which would translate to 20 or so home runs over 600 at bats in 2016's home run environment. As a shortstop eligible player, that would be top tier production for the position if Profar's tools have remained in tact after battling shoulder problems.

Profar's hype has faded because of those shoulder problems that cost him all of 2014 and most of 2015. But Profar is still just 23 years old, and he's been productive in a small sample so far in 2016 at the big league level. Profar is hitting .304/.351/.435 with a .130 ISO in about 150 big league PAs. It does come with a .352 BABIP, which is difficult to maintain long term, but Profar has the tools and youth to continue to develop into a more skilled hitter as he gets more playing time. Profar was also slotted leadoff last night, which is a plus for his fantasy value if he bats there on a regular basis. The Rangers offense has scored the 7th most runs in MLB.

Profar has eligibility at 1B, 2B, 3B and SS in Yahoo leagues and is only 27% owned, so there's a good chance he's available in your league. He probably has more value in a keeper format than a redraft because he's still developing as a player. But Profar can be a useful SS replacement as early as this season with the potential to hit to an above average level for the position, especially if he continues to bat leadoff, making him a worthwhile pickup in redraft leagues.