BOSTON (CBS) — With their Monday night acquisition of Ian Kinsler, the Boston Red Sox found a solution at second base for the rest of the 2018 season.
A four-time All-Star throughout his career, Kinsler is a shell of his former self at the age of 36. But he still represents an upgrade over what the Red Sox had plugged in for the injured Dustin Pedroia, and gives the team a steady glove at an important position for the rest of the regular season and in the playoffs.
Kinsler will wear No. 5 for the Red Sox and is active for Tuesday night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, meaning there’s a chance he makes his debut for his new team. So before he dons a Red Sox uniform for the first time, here’s all you need to know about Boston’s newest second baseman.
– Kinsler is a 13-year veteran who spent his first eight MLB seasons with the Texas Rangers.
He was initially drafted by his hometown Diamondbacks out of high school in 2000 (29th round) and then again in 2001 (26th round), but did not sign either time. He was drafted again by the Rangers in 2003 in the 17th round.
Kinsler was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Prince Fielder in the 2013 offseason, and would play four seasons for the Tigers before being dealt to the Los Angeles Angels last offseason.
– For his career, Kinsler has slashed .272/.340/.445 and carries averages of 23 homers, 37 doubles, 80 RBIs and 110 runs over 162 games.
– He is having a down year at the plate, slashing just .239/.304/.406, but Kinsler has turned it on as of late. Since the start of June, he’s hitting .259 and has 10 homers in 48 games.
But he has struggled mightily against lefties in 2018, hitting just .200 in 106 plate appearances.
– Kinsler hit for the cycle on April 15, 2009 against the Baltimore Orioles, becoming just the fourth Rangers player to accomplish the feat. He logged six hits, scored five runs and drove in four in a 19-6 Texas win. That season, he joined the 30-30 club with 31 homers and 31 stolen bases (in 36 attempts).
– Kinsler is best known for having a solid glove at second, where he’s played all but two of his 14,994.2 innings in the field (those other two innings were spent at third base for the Rangers in 2012). He has a .981 fielder percentage for his career and won a Gold Glove in 2016. He was also a Gold Glove finalist in 2017 and has never committed more than 18 errors in a season.
He has seven errors in 243 attempts this season, and has 10 Defensive Runs Saved relative to the league average at second, according to Baseball Reference. Kinsler currently ranks third among active players in career assists with 4,997.
Kinsler initially started his career as a shortstop but began his transition to second base in the minor leagues in 2005.
– He has a lengthy postseason resume, appearing in 37 career playoff games. In those October tilts, Kinsler has hit .291 (39-for-134) with 20 RBIs and 19 runs scored. He played in back-to-back World Series with the Texas Rangers in 2010 and 2011 and hit .293 with a .431 OBP in 12 games. The Rangers lost both series to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants, respectively.
– Kinsler has a long history with Pedroia. They were both in the Arizona State University infield in 2002, with Pedroia moving to second base to allow Kinsler to start at shortstop. But Kinsler struggled and was benched early in the season, and Pedroia made his way back to short. Kinsler ended up transferring to Missouri for his junior year.
Their competition doesn’t end there in college ball. Pedroia beat out Kinsler for the starting second baseman spot on the 2008 AL All-Star team (Kinsler was voted in as a reserve), and again on the 2009 AL All-Star squad thanks to a last-minute surge in fan voting. Kinsler was left off the 2009 team, but made the AL All-Star roster in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
– Kinsler actually made his MLB debut against the Red Sox on Opening Day of the 2006 season. He recorded his first major league hit in his first at-bat, a two-out single off Boston starter Curt Schilling.
– Kinsler was born in Tuscon, Arizona, and married his high school girlfriend, Tess Brady, in 2006. They have two children; daughter Rian Brooklynn and son Jack Jamisson.