Jason Kipnis
Jason Kipnis
31-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Cleveland Indians
2018 Fantasy Outlook
A shoulder injury forced Kipnis to the DL to start the year and he went on to make two more trips to the disabled list due to hamstring issues. His performance when on the field was less than stellar, with his 82 wRC+ representing a dramatic step backward from 2016 (116), although the injuries presumably played a part in his diminished production. Kipnis' strikeout and walk rates held pretty steady, but his walk rate did fall a bit to 7.5 percent, his lowest mark since his rookie season. While Kipnis has never been a slugger, a big increase in flyball rate in 2017 (from 37.4 percent to 44.1 percent) may help him get back to 20 homers if he can stay on the field for a full season in 2018. He has a track record of good health, but the lingering hamstring issues in the second half are troubling for a player who may be forced to play the outfield more to make room for Yandy Diaz in the infield. Read Past Outlooks
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$Kipnis signed a six-year, $52.5 million contract extension with the Indians in April of 2014.
Out of lineup Sunday
2BCleveland Indians
September 16, 2018
Kipnis is not in the lineup Sunday against the Tigers.
Cleveland will rest eight starters after clinching the division Saturday. Greg Allen will get the call in center field.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .707 508 52 13 67 6 .246 .304 .403
Since 2016vs Right .764 1114 142 37 117 22 .251 .329 .434
2018vs Left .640 144 12 3 23 0 .220 .294 .346
2018vs Right .710 417 48 12 44 7 .230 .324 .386
2017vs Left .632 134 13 3 14 1 .207 .278 .353
2017vs Right .744 239 30 9 21 5 .245 .298 .445
2016vs Left .790 230 27 7 30 5 .282 .326 .464
2016vs Right .822 458 64 16 52 10 .272 .351 .471
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .810 821 123 29 97 15 .261 .342 .468
Since 2016Away .681 801 71 21 87 13 .237 .300 .381
2018Home .829 278 37 11 39 3 .256 .354 .475
2018Away .563 283 23 4 28 4 .201 .279 .283
2017Home .698 190 23 5 14 4 .225 .302 .396
2017Away .711 183 20 7 21 2 .240 .280 .431
2016Home .857 353 63 13 44 8 .285 .355 .502
2016Away .765 335 28 10 38 7 .266 .329 .435
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Stat Review
How does Jason Kipnis compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Kipnis has now put together two consecutive solid fantasy seasons, albeit of different flavors. In 2015, he hit for a very high average and hit at the top of the lineup, setting the table for the bigger bats. Last season, he became one of those bigger bats, sacrificing some contact for power and driving the ball more in the air versus into the ground. He set a career high in home runs and runs and nearly did so in RBI. The days of 20-plus steals appear to a thing of the past, and the trade-off is that he is now a more well-rounded categorical player. He is a tough player to forecast because he has a rather large statistical variance in most categories over the past five seasons, and making matters worse, a shoulder injury has clouded Kipnis' availability for the start of the season. This makes for tricky roster planning, but Kipnis has returned profit in four of the past five seasons, and the cost is now dropping as a result of the shoulder issue.
Kipnis rebounded nicely (.303/.372/.451) from a disappointing 2014 campaign (.240/.310/.330) but nagging neck and shoulder woes sapped some of his power as he failed to hit double-digits for the second consecutive season. He hit a career-high 43 doubles, but it's easy to wonder if his days as a 15-homer, 30-steal dual threat up the middle are a thing of the past. Kipnis is still a very nice player when healthy, but second basemen typically don't age well. Moreover, Kipnis will turn 29 this season, and he has had his share of nagging bumps and bruises in each of the last two years. Kipnis was a very successful base stealer (84% success rate through 2014) so last year's 60% rate (12-of-20) is a bit worrisome if the Indians decide to further limit his chances. His best days are behind him but it's reasonable to expect a repeat of his 2015 season if he can stay healthy.
Everyone loved the Jay Hey Kid coming into 2014, so much so that he was taken in the end of the second round of many drafts. Kipnis lost nearly all of May to an oblique injury and then ended the season with leg issues. The time lost cost him nearly 120 plate appearances compared to 2013 and his extra-base hit total dropped from 57 to just 32. He still managed to steal at least 20 bases for a third consecutive season and his plate discipline held mostly in line to where it was with a tad more aggressiveness. The glaring issue was Kipnis simply did not drive the ball as he had the previous season, and the injuries certainly were a factor there. In hindsight, taking Kipnis as a top-25 pick in 2014 was a bit aggressive, but he should be drafted as a top-50 player in 2015 as a strong rebound candidate. Keep a close eye on him during spring training, however, as Kipnis needed surgery on his left ring finger in December after suffering an injury during offseason workouts.
It's hard to find much to complain about in a season that saw Kipnis match or set career highs in runs (86), homers (17), RBI (84) and average (.284), while he added 30 steals for good measure. Another second-half slump (.261 average, four homers, 27 RBI, nine steals) was certainly a puzzling development following his elite level of production in the first half. Kipnis actually fared better against southpaws on the season, but the second-half power slump has to be of some concern. He'll be back as the team's everyday second baseman and remains one of the fantasy elite at the keystone with his combination of power and speed.
Kipnis' final counting stats helped mask an awful second half (.651 OPS in 302 plate appearances with just three homers) in his first full season in the majors. His ability to draw a walk (67 in 672 plate appearances) and his success rate on the basepaths certainly make a repeat 30-plus stolen-base season a possibility, but we'll have to see how much new manager Terry Francona turns him loose. If he can avoid a lengthy power outage, he could take another step toward joining the upper echelon at second base in 2013. He'll be back as the team's everyday second baseman.
Kipnis isn't an elite prospect, but hit his way into the Indians' plans with a strong start (.280/.362/.484 with 12 homers) as a 24-year-old at Triple-A Columbus. He hasn't stumbled in any of his minor league stops since being drafted out of Arizona State and continued the trend with a fine debut for the Indians, hitting .272 with nine doubles and seven homers in 36 games after a July callup. He showed enough improvement at second base defensively to remain at the keystone and figures to offer above average power at the position. He'll be Cleveland's everyday second baseman entering the season and should be a threat for double-digit homers and steals in his first full big league campaign.
Kipnis shined in his full-season debut, posting a .307/.386/.492 line across stops at High-A Kinston and Double-A Akron. He'll turn 24 in April and comes from an established college program at Arizona State so handling Double-A shouldn't come as a total surprise. He had a fine season in the Arizona Fall League (.966 OPS) and should see significant time at Triple-A Columbus this year if everything goes according to plan. He's passable at second base defensively and figures to provide above average power from the keystone once he's established.
More Fantasy News
Situated on bench
2BCleveland Indians
September 12, 2018
Kipnis is not in Wednesday's lineup against Tampa Bay, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
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Set for outfield work when Donaldson returns
2BCleveland Indians
September 10, 2018
Kipnis will move to center field when Josh Donaldson (calf) returns from the disabled list Tuesday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
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Held out versus lefty Sunday
2BCleveland Indians
September 9, 2018
Kipnis is not in the lineup Sunday against the Blue Jays.
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Swats three-run homer
2BCleveland Indians
September 6, 2018
Kipnis went 1-for-5 with a three-run home run Thursday against the Blue Jays.
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Fills box score
2BCleveland Indians
September 5, 2018
Kipnis went 2-for-3 with a double, a stolen base, an RBI and a run scored in Wednesday's win over the Royals.
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