Jun. 15, 2016
Does Ian Kinsler Deserve to be an All Star?
Every year when the All Star Game ballot comes out I struggle with voting. While my heart tells me that I should only vote for the players that are on my team, the Detroit Tigers, my mind tells me that I should sit down and logically make my choices. Every year, even though some bias may slip in, I sit down and take the time to look over the choices and select the players that I believe are most deserving of being an All Star.
Due to my beliefs behind voting for All Stars, I am going to be 100% transparent with you and show you what my ballot looks like before I dive into telling you why I believe Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler deserves to be an All Star.
If you’ll notice my ballot, specifically on the American League side, I spread the wealth. Yes I am voting for 3 Tigers, however I could have voted for Jose Iglesias, J.D. Martinez, Nick Castellanos, Cameron Maybin and Justin Upton; however I am not a 2015 Kansas City Royals fan or a 2016 Chicago Cubs fan pushing for the entire starting roster to consist of my home town team.
On Tuesday June 7th, MLB Communications tweeted out the second ballot update for the 2016 All Star Game and Ian Kinsler is 5th amongst vote getters, 625,995 votes behind Jose Altuve.
Boston OF Jackie Bradley Jr. has joined the AL leaders in the latest balloting update for the 87th Midsummer Classic pic.twitter.com/nrlEN7Cigc— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 7, 2016
Despite the vote tallies, Kinsler is statistically having a better season than 2 if not 3 of the second baseman ahead of him on the ballot.
When looking at Kinsler statistics, amongst all MLB second baseman, he ranks 4th with a .316 batting average – behind only Jose Altuve in the All Star voting; 2nd in homeruns with 13 – behind only Robinson Cano in the All Star voting; 2nd in RBI with 42 – behind only Robinson Cano in All Star voting; 3rd in hits with 78 – behind Jose Altuve (AL All Star Voting) and Daniel Murphy of the National League; and finally 1st in runs scored with 53.
Upon checking his stat line on ESPN.com Kinsler is currently on pace for a .316/.370/.534 slash line to go along with 110 RBI, 34 home runs, 204 hits and 138 runs scored. If he were to hit these numbers or surpass the projection Kinsler would have a career year and set career highs in RBIs, home runs, hits and runs scored.
Kinsler is on a team with players like Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez – whom are all considered to be All Star caliber and expected to be the team leader’s in areas like home runs, RBI and hits, seeing that they bat in the middle of the lineup. However, Kinsler currently leads Detroit in five major offensive categories: hits, runs, home runs, RBI and OPS.
I have watched Kinsler since he was traded to Detroit and this year is by far his best year in a Tigers uniform. When you watch the team out on the field and in the dugout, Kinsler seems to be the heart and soul of the Detroit Tigers at this point in time. He’s always been an emotional player and shown passion, however, with the negative media outlook on the team this year, I believe that Kinsler has shown more passion for the game this season and wants to prove that the Tigers can still be a great team. All of this leads me to believe that he deserves to be voted as an All Star in 2016.
Regardless of the fact that he currently sits in 5th place amongst vote getters for the American League second baseman position, he should be higher. It is my opinion that Omar Infante should not qualify to be an All Star due to his limited play and his lack of statistical merit to be deserving of the position.
If Tiger’s fans truly want to see Ian Kinsler representing the Detroit Tigers at the 2016 All Star game they’re going to need to get out and vote. If the fans can’t get enough votes for the well deserving second baseman it is possible that Kinsler gets in via the final vote that occurs every season.