Ian Kinsler: Jayson Stark's AL First-Half MVP. Wow.
If you're one of those folks who hasn't paid much attention to Ian Kinsler -- which at least puts you in a group that includes just about everyone in America except Mrs. Kinsler -- it would probably come as a shock to hear he's even the MVP of his own team. But while Josh Hamilton is a more charismatic story and Milton Bradley's 1.033 OPS makes him a sabermetric hero, it's Kinsler who has really been the centerpiece of one of the best offenses in baseball. You'll undoubtedly be stunned to learn that Kinsler leads the league in batting, hits, runs, total bases, extra-base hits and multihit games. He's in the top five in the league in nine major offensive categories. He has stolen 23 bases in 24 tries (with the only caught stealing on a pickoff). He's hitting .397 with men in scoring position. Only three of his 14 homers have been hit in that Texas home run paradise. He has run off separate hitting streaks of 23 and 19 games just since mid-May. And he has reached base in every game but one since May 16. The only arguments against him come down to defense (16 errors) and the fact that his team hasn't been closer to first place than six games since June 1. But the Rangers actually have more wins since April 24 (42) than the White Sox (41), Angels (41) and Red Sox (40). So every number on Kinsler's stat sheet is relevant to his club's revival. And that's good enough for us.
So...Aaron Crow's got a really tough life at the moment.
"I started playing when I was 5, just like T-ball, I just kept working as I grew up because I liked it. And now …"
He trailed off.
"It’s really cool."
He looked around him, at all the college kids.
"Right now, I don’t have anything to do, so I sit by the pool, I watch (golf), any sporting event," he said. "I don’t know what they want me to do, so I’m just taking some time off. But it’s weird. I’m not in college anymore."
And speaking of RBs...after a nice spring, the Tigers are starting to expect quite a bit from Derrick Washington this fall.
As a follow-up to their article about Mizzou's pro prospects last week, the Post-Dispatch has talked to a pro scout about Mizzou's 2009 draft candidates. What's great is...6 are on offense, but 5 are on defense. Talent abound.