Will Jason Kubel Cool Off?

May 2, 2011


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Jason Kubel is about the only Twin that is off to a fast start offensively. The lefty is hitting .354. Nobody else is hitting even .285. His OPS is .916. Nobody else is even at .710. He only has two home runs, but he has nine doubles. He has yet to hit a home run at Target Field, but that should change when the weather improves. It has been an unseasonably cold spring in Minnesota. Trust me, I know.
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Kubel got off to a slow start last year, which makes his early success this year even sweeter. Last year he hit .219 in April and .254 the rest of the way.
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Part of his success has been his ability to hit lefties this year. He is a career .239 hitter against lefties (.233 the past three years), but is hitting at a .290 clip this year. He has always had success against right-handed pitching hitting .286 over his career and .289 the past three years. So far he’s hitting .385 against them with a 1.000 OPS.
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He’s hitting with nobody on (.365), with runners on (.341), with runners in scoring position (.409), and leading off the innings (.450). The only thing he is lacking in is timely hits. Kubel is hitting just .125 with runners in scoring position and two outs.
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Kubel is hitting just .231 as the designated hitter, but thanks to Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s injury, Kubel has been able to play the field. He is hitting .397 when he plays the field. He hit .234 at DH last year and .258 when he played the field.
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With Alexi Casilla struggling, the Twins could opt to keep Michael Cuddyer at second, shifting Nishioka over to shortstop when he returns. This will enable Kubel to stay in the outfield and Thome at DH.
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Obviously he’s not going to hit .354 all year, but he hit .300 in 2009 so you know he’s capable of hitting for average. When the weather warms up some of his doubles could turn into home runs.
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So if you have Kubel, keep enjoying his success.  You can try to sell high on him, but be cautious. You may not get good trade value for him since he hasn’t had a power surge and he isn’t a big name. He’s the type of player that can help you win a fantasy championship though.
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One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Are You Ready? Get Ready! The Story of Kubel’s Near Demise at the Hands of GB Leighton! | The Uno Seis
    May 2nd, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    [...] in MLB at 9-18, Kubel leads in nearly every hitting category including AVG, OBP, and OPS. He’s improved his situational hitting, batting .341 with runners on and .409 with runners in scoring position. However, what many are not [...]

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