ARLINGTON, Texas -- Our third installment in the position breakdown keeps us touring around the infield.
Today's position: Second base.
Ian Kinsler, like many on the Rangers' team, will be making his postseason debut at the major league level next week. But he's been a winner at nearly all levels of baseball -- high school, college, minor leagues (including a championship at Double-A Frisco).
Sometimes you don't know how valuable someone is until he is out of the lineup. The Rangers certainly found that out this season, as Kinsler was on the DL to start 2010 for the fifth time in as many seasons. He missed nearly the first month of 2010 with a high ankle sprain and then missed more than a month with a groin strain.
And the numbers certainly show he has a positive impact on the team:
When he starts: 59-39, .286 batting average
When he doesn’t start: 29-31, .259 batting average
Kinsler gives the Rangers a speed baserunner and someone with pop in the lineup. He's also improved each season on defense and is an important leader. The Rangers need him to have an impact for this offense to put something together in the playoffs.