Out of curiosity this afternoon, I was browsing through our leader boards when I confirmed that we did have a player, a single one, who had already accumulated a full win of value in this young season. Thanks in no doubt large part to his massive day at the plate on Wednesday, Ian Kinsler ended up with 9.4 batting runs over average. The boost over replacement was more than enough to crack the one win threshold.
Kinser’s wOBA currently stands at .600 coming into play Thursday. Though there’s no chance that he would be able to sustain that level of play over a full season; it does put Kinsler on pace for just shy of 170 batting runs in 2009.
Kinsler’s batting line has certainly been buoyed by good luck and his home park, but he’s also been driving the ball extremely well so far. A full quarter (or more depending on your batted ball source) of his balls in play have been line drives. Still, with six of the nine games in question taking place in the launching pad of Arlington, and 10 of Kinsler’s 11 extra-base hits coming at home, there are some flags showing through Kinsler’s fast start.
One look that might be telling is to look at Kinsler’s plate discipline. Doing so expands our sample a bit and also reveals any fundamental changes in Kinsler’s approach at the plate. In fact, all the shows through in this early stage is that Kinsler’s swing rate is up and oddly enough, his contact rate is down. It’s a pair of signals that run counter to the improved outcomes. All in all, it’s obviously too early to tell if there’s anything new or improved in Ian Kinsler‘s game. For now, he’ll just have to be content with being baseball’s first one win player of 2009.
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