2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 38: Ian Kinsler: Elite Asset or High-Risk Tease?

Nick KappelAnalyst IIIFebruary 11, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 31:  Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers looks on during batting practice against the San Francisco Giants in Game Four of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 31, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

When evaluating Ian Kinsler, it’s important to understand how good he is, and how disappointing he’s been.

In 2009, Kinsler posted just the fifth 30/30 season among second basemen since 2000. Unfortunately, it came with a career-low .253 batting average in a career-high 144 games.

In 2010, Kinsler managed just nine home runs and 15 steals in only 103 games (due to leg and ankle injuries), though his batting averaged jumped to .283.

So what should we expect in 2011?

Well, at least one DL stint. Other than that, it’s tough to say. Rangers manager Ron Washington has hinted at positioning Kinsler in the leadoff spot this season, something he did for most of the 2008 and 2009 seasons. This would likely aid his run-scoring and stolen base totals, but might change his approach at the plate.

Either way, Kinsler has top-10 potential.

In fact, when comparing three-year averages to players at his position with similar power/speed skills, Kinsler matches up quite well:

  • Chase Utley: 143 G, 635 PA, 100 R, 27 HR, 87 RBI, 17 SB, .284 BA
  • Dustin Pedroia: 129 G, 597 PA, 95 R, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 16 SB, .307 BA
  • Ian Kinsler: 123 G, 561 PA, 92 R, 19 HR, 67 RBI, 24 SB, .285 BA

Heck, if Kinsler had played in as many games as Utley over the last three seasons, he might be considered the top second baseman heading into 2011. Instead, he’s fifth among two-baggers, No. 38 overall.

 PARHRRBISBAVG
2010 stats4607394515.286
3-year average56192196724.285
2011 FBI Forecast59090187525.281

 

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