DOB: 06/22/1982, Age: 22, Height: 6'0’’,
Bats: R, Throws: R
Acquired: Texas Rangers - 17th Round Draft Pick 2003
2004 Stats: (Double A - Frisco RoughRiders)
2 GAMES: .300 AVG, 9 HR, 46 RBI, 83 H, 51 R,
.400 OBP, .480 SLG.
2004 Stats: (Single A - Clinton)
59 GAMES: .402 AVG, 11 HR, 52 RBI, 90 H, 52 R,
.465 OBP, .692 SLG.
Ponder this situation. You're a 17th round draft pick who had a decent first professional season after a collegiate career that took you to three different schools.
Did I mention you play shortstop, arguably the deepest prospect position in baseball. How do you get yourself noticed by the club that took 16 guys ahead of you in the draft?
Ian Kinsler provided the answer to this question during the 2004 season.
Not only did he open the Rangers eyes, he opened the eyes of the baseball world while hitting .402 with 11 Home Runs and 52 RBI's in 59 games to start the season at low Single-A Clinton.
After a June call-up to Double-A Frisco, bypassing high Single-A, Kinsler continued his offensive onslaught batting an even .300 with 9 Home Runs and 46 RBI's. In addition to the home run power, Kinsler pounded out 51 doubles across the two minor league levels.
Kinsler has shown no signs of slowing down the fall, batting .309 with 4 Home Runs and 15 RBI's through 23 Arizona Fall League games to this point.
Not bad for a guy who hit .277 with a single home run to open his pro career in 2003.
One of the things that makes Kinsler intriguing is the power he displayed in addition to hitting for average this year. Kinsler hit just 10 home runs over the course of a three season college career that included one year stints at Central Arizona, Arizona State where he played behind Boston prospect Dustin Pedroia, and the University of Missouri.
In addition to his power, Kinsler also possesses a good deal of speed, stealing 34 bases in his season and a half as a pro.
Kinsler will most likely start 2005 in Triple-A at Oklahoma City. It would then be a bit of a crap shoot as to when and in what capacity he would reach the majors in.
He's got Michael Young who came off a career year in front of him at shortstop, and Alfonso Soriano on the other side of the infield. DH would be an option however it is likely that fellow prospect Jason Botts would have the inside track to the DH duties. My guess is that unless their is an injury or a trade at the big league level, Kinsler will be spending the majority of the season in Triple-A with a September call-up following the minor league season.
From a fantasy perspective I'd take Kinsler with a late pick in all keeper leagues. In a traditional league however, I would see how Kinsler adjusts to Triple-A pitching before picking him up as a free agent in early May.