On Wednesday, Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler went 3-5 with a home run and delivered the game winning hit. On Friday, the Tigers’ new leadoff man continued to show that the Tigers made a spectacularly smart move by acquiring him from the Texas Rangers in exchange for Prince Fielder last November.
The Tigers defeated the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 10-4 this afternoon, and Kinsler contributed by going 2-5 with an RBI. He is now hitting .357 on the season. Equally as impressive, he has still yet to strike out through his first three games.
As a matter of fact, Kinsler has never once struck out 100 or more times in a single season, which represents a sharp contrast from his predecessor, Austin Jackson, who has now moved down in the lineup. Furthermore, before there was Jackson, the Tigers had Curtis Granderson at the top of the order, who was also good for 100 or more Ks per season. Therefore, Kinsler should finally give Tigers fans a break from seeing their leadoff man whiff all of the time.
There is a lot that can happen when a player can simply make contact and put the ball in play, and it would certainly not be surprising to see Kinsler record a new career-high in hits this season with all of the real estate that exists in the outfield of Comerica Park.
Kinsler, who is now in his age-32 season, appeared to come to Spring Training with a bit of an attitude, and he seemed to have something to prove. Everyone is familiar with the infamous comments that he made about his former team in early March, but he made the biggest statement with his bat by hitting .300/.382/.567 with three home runs and nine RBIs through 20 games this spring; he also swiped four bases in four chances. It is now evident that he has carried his Spring Training success into the regular season.
After becoming a 30-30 man for the second time in 2011, Kinsler has had back-to-back down seasons. However, now that he has been plucked from the draining heat of Texas, it appears that he has been rejuvenated. He also seems to be primed to put together one of his finest seasons to date.