Ian Kinsler is a good second baseman, without him the Texas Rangers would not be the team they are. Not that Kinsler can't get on a hot streak and hit some home runs and play like an All-Star; he has most of his career. He just has trouble away from Arlington, hitting just .214 in road games during 2011.
These five players on a daily basis could give you better results, helping your team be more consistent:
1. Robinson Cano, New York YankeesA career batting average of .308, hitting over .300 in five of his seven major league seasons.
Last year, he hit 28 home runs with 118 RBIs, numbers that help carry your fantasy team. Cano has been the Silver Slugger the last two years at second base, and he has been named an All-Star the last two seasons as well. He is durable, playing in at least 159 games each of the last five seasons.
2. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red SoxPedroia had more walks (86), than strikeouts (85) last season while hitting for a .307 average. He had 91 RBIs and 21 home runs while collecting 301 total bases. His 195 hits led to him scoring 102 times last year. He recorded his first 20/20 season in 2011, adding 26 stolen bases to his 21 home runs. Batting in hitter friendly Fenway Park, I look for him to have a repeat performance statistically in 2012. He is a three-time All-Star (2008-2010).
3. Howard Kendrick, Los Angeles Angels
If any player should gain from Albert Pujols, Kendrick should be that player. An All-Star in 2011, look for his stolen base total to go up while opposing pitchers are dealing with Pujols. Surging at the end of 2011, he should have a much quicker start to the season this year, raising his totals in all offensive categories. His strikeout to walk ratio should get better with his emphasis on getting on base, instead of hitting for power. His .285 batting average, 86 runs, and 249 total bases should all increase this season.
4. Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds
The National League All-Star and Silver Slugger at second base with a batting average of .300 to go along with 279 total bases. Phillips had 183 hits in 2011 while playing in 150 games; 200 hits are within reach this year. his 18 home runs and 38 doubles led to him scoring 94 runs last season. I look for him to have a repeat performance this season, raising his homer total above 20, while recording over 600 at-bats.
5. Dan Uggla, Atlanta BravesUggla is one durable player, six seasons in a row with at least 146 games played. He has never hit less than 27 home runs with 283 average total bases during that stretch. He does strike out quite often, but he makes up for it with RBIs, averaging over 90 per season. After taking last season to settle in to Atlanta, I expect this year should be even better.
It is not that I don't like Kinsler; I do. The Rangers are so loaded with hitters, it just seems to me that Kinsler is having a hard time figuring out what his role is. Early in his career his average was better, then came some injuries in 2010.
As a fan of the Rangers, I have watched him pop out to the infield more than he should the last few years. It seems he has gone from a steady hitter to a player trying to keep up with the big hitters in the Rangers lineup. I would like to see him go back to the hitter he was and leave the power hitting to Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, and Mike Napoli.
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J. Brackston has been playing fantasy baseball since 2005, his finest fantasy baseball season being 2007, where he outplayed over 80,000 players to win the Sporting News Commissioners Playoff Championship. He has been an avid Texas Rangers fan since they moved from Washington D.C..