In this morning's Dallas News, the Texas Rangers' Ian Kinsler really summed it up to writer Gerry Fraley, “I’m hitting .235,” said Kinsler. “You can look at anything. Right now, I stink.”
That may a little harsh, Ian, but only a little.
Kinsler is slugging .393, 65 points below his lifetime average. He hit three homers in his first 10 at-bats this season, but only five homers in his last 275 at-bats.
As bad as all that is, what is worse is Kinsler with runners in scoring position. Fraley points out, "For the season, he is hitting only .185 with runners in scoring position. That is the ninth-lowest average among AL qualifiers."
Comparing 2008 and 2011
The 2008 season was a good one for Kinsler hitting .319, slugging .517 and an OPS of .892. With runners in scoring position, he hit .413.
I compared the 2008 Kinsler w/RISP against fastballs and the 2011 model and saw a significant difference.
2008 RISP vs the Fastball
2011 RISP vs the Fastball
This is just against the fastball and you can see that he is handling very little on the outer part of the plate.
Here is an isolated view of the outer portion of the plate:
It gets even more shocking when you see this:
2011 RISP vs all pitches on the outer part of the plate
Kinsler has just one hit in 27 at bats, a double off of a change-up, on pitches on the outer portion of the plate.
The fact that Kinsler has drown 42 walks when batting leadoff, the most in the AL is no surprise. Pitchers are pumping Kinsler on the outer half of the plate, which has produced 27 walks:
Kinsler's ability to adjust and address this issue will go a long way in determining his, and the Rangers', success in 2011.