Sunday, February 10, 2013

Avoid This Player: Ian Kinsler

At each position, I will cover one player to avoid and one player to target. Many of my conclusions will be based off of statistical evaluations and maybe a small hunch. For the most part, these players will be guys who provide similar value to players who are being drafted much higher, and vice versa. I will cover the player in both redraft and keeper/dynasty formats.

Second base is normally a wasteland, but it's gotten much better with more depth outside of the top few guys. Of course, the best second baseman is Robinson Cano, and he'll probably go in the first 5 or so picks. After Cano, you can make a realistic case for about three or four players on who is second best. According to CBS Sports, Ian Kinsler's average draft position is 35.37, putting him five spots behind Dustin Pedroia, 16 spots above Ben Zobrist, 57 spots above Brandon Phillips, 62 spots above personal fave Jason Kipnis, and well, you get the picture.

Ian Kinsler broke out in a big way in 2011, with a .255/.355/.477 batting line, with 32 HR and 30 SB in his age 29 season. However, in his age 30 season(2012), he hit .256/.326/.423 with 19 HR and 21 SB. Those are very good numbers from your second baseman, no doubt about that, but at his current ADP of 35.37, he is living off of his name value more than his production. While it is very likely he puts up a similar line to the one he posted last season, I would not bet that he ever gets back to his elite 2011 numbers, which many owners will be paying for. 

Instead of taking Ian Kinsler in the third round, take a second baseman rounds later, and you will be much happier with your team. Personal fave Jason Kipnis with an ADP of 97 slashed .257/.335/.379 last season with 31 SB and 14 HR. While Kipnis and Kinsler provided similar value this past season, Kipnis has yet to hit his prime, while Kinsler will be in his age 31 season. Kipnis also had a much better first half to the season, of which I will be writing up for a who to target series. He hit .277/.345/.419 in the first half with 11 HR and 20 SB, while he only hit .233/.322/.328 in the second half with just 3 HR and 11 SB. 

If you own Ian Kinsler in a dynasty or keeper league, try to deal him now. Kinsler is a great candidate to fall off a cliff, as second baseman age notoriously poor. Avoid Kinsler and target the likes of Jose Altuve, Aaron Hill, Rickie Weeks, or even someone like Neil Walker. These guys will give you similar value as Kinsler without the cost of a high round pick. Also, with top prospect Jurickson Profar nipping at the heels of Kinsler, he could be moved to the OF or 1B, in which case his value would severely plummet. It may not be likely, but it could happen. Just say no to Ian Kinsler(unless he's dirt cheap). 

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