ESPN.com's Cameron: Put Ian Kinsler at 1B

December, 21, 2012
12/21/12
9:53
AM CT
Count Dave Cameron of ESPN.com and FanGraphs among those who thinks moving Ian Kinsler to first base is as good an option as free agent Adam LaRoche, for example. Cameron wrote a long piece (insider) today on the topic. Here's a small part of it:



You don't see many second baseman shift over to first base, especially those who are listed at 6-foot, but Kinsler is a better fit there than one would think based solely on his height.

While first base is generally thought of as a power position, and second baseman aren't generally known for their power, Kinsler actually hits more like a first baseman than a second baseman. For his career, he has an isolated slugging (slugging percentage minus batting average, which gives you a measure of how much power a player hit for) of .188. For comparison, Adrian Gonzalez has an ISO of .195 over the last three years. Kinsler isn't known as a prodigious home run guy, but like Gonzalez, he racks up a copious amount of doubles, which are pretty effective for driving in runs themselves.

For instance, compare Kinsler's overall offensive performance to Adam LaRoche, whom the Rangers have been linked to at various times this winter. Here are their numbers since 2010:

Kinsler: .263/.350/.441, 111 wRC+
LaRoche: .255/.327/.462, 109 wRC+

No one thinks of LaRoche as an underpowered hitter for the position, and Kinsler's offensive track record is even stronger. Any team willing to give LaRoche a first base job should also be willing to consider Kinsler a first baseman, as there's not a lot of evidence that LaRoche is a significantly better hitter overall.




The Rangers have talked to Kinsler about the idea, though they haven't made any firm decisions. But if they don't trade Elvis Andrus and want Jurickson Profar to be an every day second baseman, moving Kinsler to first makes plenty of sense. Cameron notes that it's worked for other middle infielders and he believes Kinsler can handle the job. Kinsler's a good athlete and could play just about anywhere, if you ask me. So if he's got a full spring training to work on it, he'll be just fine at first base.

Anyway, to read more of Cameron's piece (it's another great reason to get an insider account), click here.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Elvis Andrus
BA HR RBI R
.302 1 3 9
OTHER LEADERS
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 9
OPSS. Choo .830
WP. Figueroa 2
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23