Despite having been drafted in only the 17th round out of college, Kinsler has risen to become a two-time All Star, and a member of the Sporting News' 2009 list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball. He is known as a five-tool player, hitting for average and power, and excelling in baserunning, throwing, and fielding.
Kinsler has twice hit 30 home runs and stolen 30 bases in the same season (2009 and 2011), and is one of 12 ballplayers in major league history who have had multiple 30-30 club seasons. In 2011, he also joined the 20–20 club for the third time, one season shy of the major league record for a second baseman. He hit for the cycle in a game in 2009, while getting hits in all six of his at bats.
Through 2011, he was third in career stolen bases in Rangers history, and had the third-best career stolen-base percentage among active major leaguers. On defense, he had the highest career range factor per game of all active major league second basemen.