On the surface back in November of last year, it looked like the Texas Rangers made a genius deal when they did a rare superstar swap by trading second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers for slugging first baseman Prince Fielder.
Of course, in hindsight, the trade looked terrible as Fielder played in just more than 40 games before season-ending neck surgery and Kinsler had an all-star caliber season in Detroit at second base while the Rangers were forced to rush 20-year-old Rougned Odor to the bigs as Jurickson Profar never stepped on a big-league field because of injury.
Kinsler took some heat at times in Texas for his defensive play — his propensity to make the impossible play but botch the routine ones. But this season in Detroit, Kinsler was really solid for the Tigers. Kinsler had just nine errors — his fewest since 2010 — and his plus-20 defensive runs saved led all AL infielders and all MLB second basemen.
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That was enough to earn him a nod as Wilson's Defensive Player of the Year at second base, beating out Boston's Dustin Pedroia — his one-time college teammate at Arizona State.