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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Schoenfield: Ian Kinsler having a great season

Providing he stays within walking distance of Skillman Wok of Arlington. Yes.

Talk about a guy flying under the radar: Ian Kinsler is about to become just the ninth second baseman to hit 30 home runs twice in his career. He’s second in the American League in runs scored. He plays terrific defense, has drawn 82 walks and is 25 for 27 stealing bases.

...Now, is Kinsler really having a better season than Cano? Even though Cano is hitting more than 50 points higher, Kinsler’s ability to draw walks brings him even in the all-important on-base percentage. Kinsler rates a 13-run advantage in the field according to UZR (seven runs better in Defensive Runs Saved). According to FanGraphs, Kinsler picks up another three-run advantage on the basepaths—plus-5 runs to Cano’s plus-2. (Kinsler rates as one of the baserunners in the majors.) Cano has created 104 runs, Kinsler 101 (as the Rangers’ leadoff hitter, Kinsler has received 46 more plate appearances than Cano, so he gets a boost from more “playing time.”)

While the advanced metrics factor in ballpark effects, I’m still bothered by this line from Kinsler:

Home: .299/.399/.517
Road: .206/.291/.412

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 10:07 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, projections, rangers, sabermetrics

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   1. BDC Posted: September 20, 2011 at 02:21 PM (#3930733)
I never thought I would learn of the existence of a restaurant in my home town from a Repoz intro, but there you go.
   2. The Good Face Posted: September 20, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#3930780)
Nice to see Kinsler get some props, he's a heck of a player. Fun to watch too... he has the haircut and body language of a 12 year old kid and periodically breaks into a skip when running.
   3. Vance W Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:37 PM (#3930827)
Kinsler is a fun player and its nice to see his enormous value to the Rangers recognized.

He can be frustrating at times, giving up loads of at-bats on pop-ups early in the count. This obscures his value to the fan base somewhat.

Is it just me or are the Rangers an exceptionally good baserunning team. Kinsler and Andrus are particularly excellent.
   4. BDC Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3930849)
I wandered into B-Ref PI to find similar batting seasons to Kinsler's '11. I think the closest (so far) was Troy Glaus, 2002:

Player         OBP   BA HR Year  PA BB SB CS  SLG  OPS  Pos
Troy Glaus    .352 .250 30 2002 671 88 10  3 .453 .805 
Ian Kinsler   .347 .249 29 2011 687 82 25  2 .465 .812  

B-Ref figures those both as an OPS+ of 113, in context, though the raw numbers are close enough. (Glaus is in a worse park but a better league, so I guess it's a near-wash.) Obviously Kinsler plays a tougher position and runs better (though Glaus, as you can see, wasn't immobile then.)

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