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Detroit Tigers 2016 Season Review: Everyday Ian Kinsler

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Jun 7, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) celebrates after hitting a game winning RBI single in the 10th inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park. Detroit won 3-2 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) celebrates after hitting a game winning RBI single in the 10th inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park. Detroit won 3-2 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Now that Ian Kinsler and the Detroit Tigers are done with their playoff push, it’s time to take a look at how Ian Kinsler helped the team.

During the first half of the season when the Detroit Tigers weren’t producing, it seemed like Ian Kinsler was the only spark plug that the offense sorely needed.

Kinsler had a highly productive season with the exception of going into a slump during the second half of the season. Kinsler finished with .288 batting average, which was the third highest in his career. Also, he ended with 28 home runs, which was (again) the third highest number in his career. He also drove in 83 RBIs. These numbers occurred predominantly in the first half. Ian went into an unfortunate slump in the final two months. His limited performance was shielded by the red-hot presence of Justin Upton.

Kinsler had the best first half of any the Tigers in 2016. Sadly, Kinsler didn’t make the All-Star Game because of the voting system the MLB uses. The MLB lets the fans vote on who should be in the All-Star game. Even though the Tigers are in a relatively large market, Kinsler is not a household name, like some other players.

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Respectability Factor

One stat that is respectable about Kinsler is he plays almost every day. Ian played 151 games at second base this season. He also played one game as the Tigers designated hitter this year. Playing a total of 152 of 161 games is why fans call him “Everyday Ian”.

Also, in the 152 games Kinsler played this year, he only made a total of nine errors. The nine errors that he made are easily overshadowed by the impressive plays he made.

The Kinsler Mojo

One that comes to mind was on September 4 when Francisco Rodriquez gave up a – hit to Alcides Escober. In order to get Escobar to third, Jarrod Dyson grounded out to Ian. But, that wasn’t the biggest play of the game. The best play was when Alex Gordon hit a line drive to Ian at second. Instead of letting it get past him, Kinsler knocked it down with his bare hand. He ended up breaking a few nails on the play that resulted in a bit of blood. Kinsler infamously being wiping his fingers on the dirt – becoming a living version of the old sports adage of “rub some dirt on it”. No Royals crossed home plate in that inning thanks to Kinsler’s never-say-die attitude.

It’s not just Kinsler’s on-field presence that is his best attribute; it’s also his clubhouse personality that makes him an all-around great player. Kinsler is known for keeping things loose in the club house.

Another thing that makes Kinsler so good is his chemistry with Jose Iglesias. Kinsler and Iggy turn some of the sweetest looking double plays. It seems like they both know where the others at during every play.

Next: The Four Tigers Gold Glove Candidates

In a league where second basemen are top players on nearly every team, the Tigers have been fortunate to have Kinsler and his top-five performance in nearly every game of 2016.

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