ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 27: Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers hits an RBI double off of Jaime Garcia #54 of the St. Louis Cardinals to score Craig Gentry #23 in the second inning during Game Six of the MLB World Series at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
In what will be a daily post, we'll talk about the upcoming season for the Texas Rangers and where guys fit in on the roster. It's almost baseball time!
There might not be a bigger love-hate type guy on the Texas Rangers' squad than second baseman Ian Kinsler. Fans love his flash, his power and his ability to get on base. They hate his uppercut swing and his tendency at times to get overly aggressive at the plate.
Last season's move to the leadoff spot was met with tons of raised eyebrows of the collective Rangers fan, but as a whole, the idea proved to be a successful one as Kinsler led the team in walks and had an on-base percentage of .355.
This season, the hope is that he will improve on his .255 batting average and get it more up into the .280s range to better match his .275 career average. While Kinsler committed the second-most errors in the league among second basemen (11), that number was deceiving considering his zone rating of .850 (which takes into account a player's defensive range), which was also second-best in the league.
Kinsler is a run-producing machine, which is exactly what you want out of a middle infielder/leadoff man, and he scored a career-best 121 last season. He finished 11th in the AL MVP voting, which doesn't sound like much, but that means there were just 10 players in the entire league that were more valuable. Not that bad when you sit down and think about it.
Kinsler is a big part of why the Rangers have one of the top infields in the game, and their fans should hope for a long future ahead for Kinsler and shortstop Elvis Andrus turning double plays in Arlington.
Improvement needs: Raise batting average, commit fewer errors