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2015 Second Base Rankings Rumble: Jason Kipnis

Brian Creagh and Ray Guilfoyle discuss the pros and cons of drafting Jason Kipnis in 2015

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Player: Jason Kipnis

2014 Stats:

Games

129

HR

6

R

61

RBI

41

SB

22

AVG

0.240

OBP

0.310

SLG

0.330

Ray's Ranking

Brian's Ranking

Jason Kipnis

6th

14th

Case For Jason Kipnis (Presented by Ray Guilfoyle):

Here is what I wrote about Kipnis in my updated second base rankings awhile back:

I might be too high on Kipnis, but I see a bounce back season from him in 2015. He dealt with an oblique and hamstring injuries last season, which affected his power and speed skills. He reportedly bulked up last offseason in an effort to improve on his power, and maybe that led to the oblique injury. This offseason, the Indians have given him a different conditioning program to lose some weight and increase his flexibility in 2015.

Here is a look at his season stats over the last three seasons:

2012: .257-.335-.3709 with 14 home runs, 86 runs scored 76 RBI, 31 stolen bases, 16.2 K%, 10.0 BB%

2013: .284-.366-.452, with 17 home runs, 86 runs scored, 84 RBI, 30 stolen bases, 21.7 K%, 11.6 BB%

2014: .240-.310-.330 with 6 home runs, 61 runs scored, 41 RBI and 22 stolen bases, 18.0 K%, 9.0 BB%

I think the stats bare out that Kipnis was affected by the oblique injury last season, and has made changes to his offseason conditioning in an attempt to prevent it from reoccurring. I see Kipnis having a solid bounce back season in 2015, and can see him returning to the hitter he was in 2013.

Case Against Jason Kipnis (Presented by Brian Creagh):

I don't think 2014 is truly indicative of Kipnis' fantasy value and I expect a better season from him in 2015. That said, I think some owners are putting too much weight in a 2013 season where a lot of things broke right for Jason Kipnis. Career high's in BABIP (.345) and HR/FB% (12.4%) indicate that his .284 AVG and 17 HRs are at the high-end of his possible outcomes and don't come with a high likelihood of occurring. The more likely scenario is where Steamer projections have him for 2015 - 13 HRs, 20 SBs, and .253 AVG.

That projection may be worth a higher ranking than 14th, but the finger injury that Jason Kipnis is dealing with has me worried about his start to the season. An oblique injury prevented Kipnis from ever getting on a roll last year, and it sounds like this finger injury is going to limit him again in Spring Training. There is some question on whether he'll be ready for Opening Day, but for a player in need of a big rebound, this is not the way you want the season to start. On the bright side, the injury and the down 2014 production could provide a great buy-low opportunity in drafts. He should be a starter in all formats, and if he's going outside of the Top 14 2B then there's a great opportunity to get a late power/speed play. The 2B position has a lot of intriguing options around the replacement level and Kipnis could fall anywhere between 9-15 in my rankings and I'd be comfortable with it. Guys like Kendrick and Lawrie (if eligible) are moving to new teams and provide interesting value propositions. Javier Baez and Jedd Gyorko are popular breakout candidates and make it tough to find a final resting spot for Kipnis' ranking. I'm staying away from Kipnis in most of my re-draft leagues, but there's a shot he becomes a nice value play if more negative news comes out regarding his finger injury.