LA Angels News

The LA Angels Have Found Their Leadoff Man

By Vincent Page
TEMPE, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Ian Kinsler
TEMPE, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Ian Kinsler /
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When the LA Angels were looking for a second baseman this offseason, not many people saw Ian Kinsler ending up in Anaheim. However, it may have been the best move of the offseason for the Halos.

LA Angels fans have spent years hating on Ian Kinsler. The long time Texas Rangers second baseman rubbed many Halo fans the wrong way with his on-field antics. However, the 35-year is going to be the key to the Angels success in 2018.

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Originally having the Angels as part of his no-trade clause, Kinsler was eventually persuaded by Detroit Tigers teammate and starting left fielder for the LA Angels Justin Upton to come to the West Coast. The entirety of Orange County can thank Upton for that.

Kinsler had his worst season last year in Detroit, but was primed for a comeback season. So far, he has shown that is definitely a strong possibility. He has been one of the best players for the Halos this Spring Training, posting a .290 average with a .436 on-base percentage.

While it is obviously different from regular season action, Kinsler is showing all the makings of a leadoff man. His .436 OBP ranks seventh in the MLB this Spring, and he has even shown some slugging ability with two doubles and a home run.

While it would be unfair to expect a .300 batting average season from Kinsler, seeing him climb back up to his usually .280+ average would not be a surprise. Kinsler’s best trait, however, has always been his ability to get on base. Along with decent slugging numbers, Kinsler has never had a season with a sub-.700 OPS. Last season’s .725 OPS was a career-low, and expecting an OPS above .800 is not far-fetched, with Kinsler posting a season like that as early back as 2016.

Next: Did the Halos Miss Out on Jake Arrieta?

The LA Angels made bigger headlines when they brought in Zack Cozart and won the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes. However, Ian Kinsler is looking like the most impactful new guy so far in 2018, and he is looking to reintroduce himself as a LA Angel this season.

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