When the LSB community discussed all the wonderful things that could happen with the 2011 Texas Rangers, a common theme was the hope that Ian Kinsler could combine his walk rate from 2010 with the power, speed and defense from 2009 in a full season where he stayed healthy. That kind of season from a second baseman would be the type that puts you in the running for MVP in your league.
Kinsler's injury history kept PA projections relatively low at 600.4, but still optimistic given his career average of 544.6 coming into 2011. The positive thinking continued with an OPS projection of .860, almost 40 points higher than his .821 career OPS prior to this season and good for the third highest OPS projection on the Rangers after Josh and Nellie.
Ian Kinsler rewarded the optimistic faithful with the most productive season of his six year career. He established new career highs in PA (723), HR (32), BB% (12.3%) and a career low in K% (9.8%). His ISO of .223 was second only to his 2009 .235. He combined great production at the plate with 30 stolen bases (88% success rate) for his second 30-30 season, becoming only the 12th Major League player to have multiple 30-30 seasons. And if all that weren't enough, he threw in a 15.0 UZR for the second highest in baseball among second baseman supporting his worthy nomination as a Gold Glove finalist.
Kinsler provided the sort of production a fan dreams of at a critical middle infield position... except for that whole batting average thing. Because he hit .255 many fans decried his role as a lead off hitter or as being the Rangers player that provided the most value... and initiated the occasional heated Twitter discussion with a Rangers blogger or two. Next year we'll hope we get the same sort of MVP production we did this year, but with the back of the baseball card stats to get the actual MVP accolades that should go with that.
Using a Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) approach [lower is better] the top and bottom individual projections have Longhorn at the top of the projections and PM Productions at the bottom. Everyone's rankings can be found in this Google Spreadsheet and the top and bottom 5 shake out as:
| Top 5 ||PA||AVG||OBP||SLG||OPS||RMSE|
|3. Robert L. Bishop
| Bottom 5 ||PA||AVG||OBP||SLG||OPS||RMSE|
|101. Gay For Feliz
|105. PM Productions