Is Ian Kinsler a Good Trade Target?

May 21, 2011


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Kinsler got out of the gate early slugging a home run in his first three games. He hit his fourth by April 10th. He hit his fifth on April 22nd and has gone 26 games without hitting another one. His power drought isn’t the only concern.
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Obviously the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Ian Kinsler is his injury history. He has played in 43 of 45 games so far, which puts him on pace for 154 games. He’s never played 145 games in a season so the threat of  trip to the D.L. is legitimate.
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Now that we discussed the elephant in the room (injuries), there is also a hippo in the room (his average). Kinlser has batted .263 and .253 in the past so his 2011 .228 average through March 20th doesn’t come as a huge shock. While it is still far below his lifetime average of .278, he has at times struggled at the plate.
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His BABIP is just .231. Last year it was .313, but in 2009 it was .241. From 2006-2008 it was .304, .279, and .334. Clearly his history suggests that a higher BABIP for the remainder of the season is more likely, it wouldn’t be the first time that he turned in a stinker in this sabermetric.
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An encouraging sign is his reduced strikeout rate (12.0 percent), which is down from 14.6 percent last year and 13.6 percent in 2009. It’s the lowest rate he has had in the big leagues.
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Depite his struggles, Kinsler is still on pace to score 87 runs, hit 18 HRs, knock in 61 runs, and swipe 29 bases. If his luck and average can improve, those numbers could all increase.
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It will still take a nice haul to land Kinsler, but his asking price may be as low as it gets. He’s hitless in his past 16 at bats and is batting .219 for the month. If you’re looking to add some pop and/or speed to your lineup it’s worth looking into a trade of Kinsler.
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