Ian Kinsler and his Struggles for the Texas Rangers Bring Heavy Media Scrutiny


Every team has players that are targets for being criticized by the media, even if they have done very good things in the past. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area you can put Jason Terry (Dallas Mavericks) and Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys) in that category.  You can add Ian Kinsler to the list. Both fans and the media have criticized him for his recent play, and the emergence of Jurickson Profar has only increased the scrutiny of him as well as Michael Young.

Jul 27, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler (5) reacts on second base during the game at Rangers Ballpark. Chicago won 9-5. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Ian Kinsler is having a bad stretch, something MVP candidates Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre have had as well.  Kinsler is hitting just .203 in the last 14 games, and he has struck out almost once per game (13).  On top of his struggles at the plate, Kinsler continues to make mistakes in the field; he has 16 errors, which leads all second baseman and is the 6th most in the entire league.  If you don’t watch the Rangers often, you will see him make very tough plays throughout the year, but what has frustrated most Rangers fans is his inability to make easy plays.  Most of his errors this year have been routine plays, something that makes people question his concentration and effort.  Another thing that turns people off about Kinsler is his body language at the plate.  Throughout the year he has struggled with popups despite working on it with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh.  What most Rangers fans notice is Kinsler’s terrible attitude following bad plays or popups.

Even with the problems he’s had at the plate, Rangers Owner/President Nolan Ryan backs him, saying:

"“Well, I think it’s because we’ve had a stretch here of a few games where he hasn’t maybe played his best baseball and everybody’s wanting to see Profar get in the game. I think that it’s probably magnified the situation, but you have to realize it’s a 162-games, it’s a long haul and if somebody has a three-day period where maybe they’re not on top of their game, it seems to magnify, that but that’s the way I view it.“"

Aug 26, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler (5) throws to first base during the first inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Texas Rangers fans and the media seem to forget that Ian Kinsler is 4th in the league in runs scored, 4th in RBIs, and 6th in hits among 2nd baseman in the league.  Since 2006, Kinsler’s first full season, he is 4th among second baseman in WAR (wins above replacement) behind perennial all-stars Robinson Cano, Chase Utley, and Dustin Pedroia.  These statistics alone should be enough to prove that Kinsler is the best option at 2B but there’s more.  Ian Kinsler has had 2 30-30 seasons (HR/Stolen bases), something only two other 2nd basemen have done in MLB history (Alfonso Soriano, Brandon Phillips).  Kinsler is only 13 hits away from the highest single-season total in his career. While his average is a bit low, it’s only been higher in 3 seasons.  Ian Kinsler played the most games in his career last season (155) and is on pace to match that (and possibly break it).   Kinsler has definitely struggled and his attitude on the field can be frustrating sometimes, but there’s no denying his talent.  When healthy, he is still one of the most explosive leadoff hitters in baseball who can change a game around with one swing of the bat.  Once he gets on a hot streak in the playoffs or helps the Texas Rangers win a World Series, everyone will forget about his mistakes during the regular season, but for the near future, we will likely be subjected to ongoing calls to “bench” Kinsler.

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