Jurickson Profar doesn’t like water, is scared of sharks

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Rangers rookie Jurickson Profar is on his way to becoming a household name, so it’s always good to learn a little bit more about a guy we’re going to be watching for the next 15 years or so.

Luckily he revealed a few interesting tidbits during a radio interview with KTCK-AM in Dallas, including his thoughts on swimming:

Oh, I don’t like water. Water is for sharks and stuff … I always watch Discovery Channel and stuff and I see those sharks and I get scared.

And his favorite television shows:

ESPN. Let me see … Mr. Bean.

Unless there’s some other “Mr. Bean” television show I’m not aware of that means he’s watching the British comedy starring Rowan Atkinson from the early 1990s. It stopped airing in 1995 and Profar was born in 1993. Rangers reporters are going to have to follow-up on this one, I think.

Profar, who won’t be 21 years old for another eight months, has hit .292 with two homers and a .758 OPS in 19 games for the Rangers after coming into the season as Baseball America‘s top-ranked prospect.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.