Jurickson Profar's Very Bad Colorado Rockies Tenure

Jurickson Profar's Very Bad Colorado Rockies Tenure

The Rockies released veteran left fielder Jurickson Profar on Sunday. Profar played 111 games and amassed 474 plate appearances over one year with the Rockies. Let’s take a short look at his short stint in Colorado.

The Contract

In early March of 2023, Kyle Kishimoto of FanGraphs wrote an article asking why no one had signed him on for 2023 as of yet. Kyle hit on some good points as to why Profar was unsigned, including his declining speed, poor defense, and lackluster offense compared to other left fielders. He sums it up without mincing words:

..it isn’t hard to see why a contending team wouldn’t want to give 150 starts to someone who isn’t a plus contributor on either offense or defense.

Luckily for Profar, the Rockies are usually not a contending team. On March 19, 2023, they signed him to a one-year, $7.75 million deal. In addition to the base salary, Profar worked in a $1 million bonus if he could reach 400 plate appearances.

So, how did this signing work out for the Rockies? Spoiler: not good.

His Offense

Profar posted the best fWAR of his career in 2022 with a 2.6! Could he reproduce that offensive season in Colorado or was 2022 an outlier?

I wish I could say that Profar came to Colorado and was the same, or at least a similar, player as he was in 2022, but he wasn’t.

He slugged .344 in April with 3 home runs. He did have a decent May with 25 hits, 2 HRs, 12 RBI, and a .269/.343/.452 line but came crashing back to Earth the next 3 months. He hit only 3 more home runs in June, July, and August combined while posting a .649 OPS.

All in all, Profar slashed .236/.316/.364 with 8 HR and a 76 OPS+ in 111 games over 472 plate appearances ($1 million bonus!) for the Rockies.

The Lack of Defense

Defense has never been Jurickson Profar’s strong suit and 2023 was no different. He posted a -11 defensive runs saved and came in as one of the worst defenders in the league in 2023.

Jurickson Profar's substandard defense

This probably wasn’t too much of a shock though considering his past defensive stats. Kishimoto’s projection that Profar wouldn’t be a “plus contributor” on defense certainly came to unsurprising fruition in 2023.

How Bad Was It?

By the time of his release on August 27, he had the worst fWAR in all of MLB in 2023. Not one of the worst, but the worst, and by a massive 0.4 fWAR, too.

Jurickson Profar's fWAR

It’s not much better if we look at bWAR (subscription) either. He still has the worst bWAR for 2023 among players with at least 400 plate appearances, but at the time of writing, he’s tied with prize fighter Tim Anderson at -1.6.

Jurickson Profar's bWAR

There really aren’t any stats that make this season look good. In fact, it turns out to be the 2nd worst bWAR season ever (min 400 PAs) (subscription) for a Colorado Rockie, behind Dante Bichette’s bizarre 34 HR -2.3 bWAR season in 1999.

Jurickson Profar's all-time Rockies bWAR

This is an awful season for any player, let alone one that cost more than 1.75x the average 2023 salary. He was more expensive than Randy Arozarena! His contract was 10 times larger than Connor Joe, who’s posted a 1.7 fWAR in 2023 so far.

And these are only a couple of left fielders.

Not to mention the fact that NL Cy Young contender Zac Gallen, All Star Ozzie Albies, doubles machine Nathaniel Lowe, and so, so many others made less than him as well.

It doesn’t belong alongside the worst contracts in Rockies history, but clearly it wasn’t good.

What’s Next?

Good for Jurickson and his agent that they got $8.75 million. I’m never going to be mad at a guy for getting paid if he can, but considering his production, I’m very happy that the Rockies are moving on.

So, what’s next for him? Will he find another landing spot at 30 years old?

That seems like a distinct possibility. Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press reported that the Tigers could be interested in him. They looked at him in the offseason and may do so again.

If he lands with another team, could he turn it around and become at least better than a replacement player again? Maybe another team will soon find out.

Photo credit: Ryan Casey Aguinaldo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons