04 April, 2006

MLB debut - Ian Kinsler

There were, by our reckoning, 11 debuts on Opening Day. Here's the first of them.

Ian Kinsler opened up at 2b for Texas replacing Nats' bound Alfonso Soriano who had a decent day at the plate, mixed fortunes chasing (or not) fly balls and a crappy day on the basepaths.

Kinsler was a mild surprise to make the team this Spring. Yahoo lists him as a SS, but he also played at second in the Minors. He projects as a better second baseman, shows good hands average range. With the bat, he displays good power though may chalk up a lot of strike outs with his long swing.

At Oklahoma in 2005 he went 274/348/464, not an outstanding performance and a downgrade on an excellent 2004 when he tore up the Midwest League (402/465/692) before moving to the hitter friendly Texas League where he let up a bit (300/400/480). Nevertheless, he popped 23 homers for Oklahoma, which is no mean feat for a middle infielder at AAA.

Drafted out of Missouri, the third of his colleges, Kinsler turns 24 in June. He's tall and lean - 6 foot and 175 lbs.

On Opening Day, Kinsler started at second, batting 9th and went 1 for 2 with a walk. He was at the back end of an 8-4 double play as Boston's Alex Gonzalez was doubled up returning on a fly ball. His first hit was a line drive single with 2 out and no one on in the third, poked to right off a 1-1 fastball from Curt Schilling.

Second base looks Kinsler's to keep ahead of D'Angelo Jiminez and Mark DeRosa.


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