Jason Kipnis
Jason Kipnis
32-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Chicago Cubs
2020 Fantasy Outlook
While looking at Kipnis' slash line may indicate a slight improvement from 2018, using wRC+ (neutralizing the offensive environment) demonstrates further decline. In his heyday, Kipnis was 30% above average. In 2019, he was 18% below average. Still, the injury-riddled Indians found 511 plate appearances in 121 games for the veteran. Kipnis' contact rate is still very good; the issue is quality as he rates poor in terms of average exit velocity and barrel rate. Kipnis isn't just sliding at the plate, his already weak glove is getting worse. Cleveland opted to part ways with Kipnis, so he'll be looking to catch on elsewhere for his age-33 season. His wRC+ against right-handed pitching is a still-low-but-more-acceptable 91, so perhaps he can find work as part of a platoon. With steals no longer a major asset, Kipnis is strictly single-league fodder unless he happens to find full-time employment. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a minor-league contract with the Cubs worth $1 million plus incentives, in February of 2020.
In lineup to begin spring
2BChicago Cubs  NRI
February 22, 2020
Kipnis (hand) is in the starting lineup for the Cubs' spring opener against the Athletics on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Kipnis signed with the Cubs on Feb. 11, and he'll serve as a starter in their first game of spring training. The 32-year-old underwent hand surgery in September, but he appears to be healthy now as he looks to compete for a role on on the major-league roster.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Minor League Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
15
3
32
11
16
4
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
6
1
18
15
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+16%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+19%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+12%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+18%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .637 464 43 10 53 1 .227 .288 .349
Since 2017vs Right .740 1021 117 37 122 19 .240 .313 .427
2019vs Left .633 168 17 3 15 0 .245 .291 .342
2019vs Right .756 343 35 14 50 7 .244 .311 .446
2018vs Left .646 162 13 4 24 0 .222 .292 .354
2018vs Right .725 439 52 14 51 7 .233 .323 .402
2017vs Left .632 134 13 3 14 1 .207 .278 .353
2017vs Right .744 239 30 9 21 5 .245 .298 .445
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+15%
OPS at Home
2019
Even Split
2018
 
 
+44%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+2%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .759 733 88 24 86 10 .248 .325 .433
Since 2017Away .659 752 72 23 89 10 .224 .286 .373
2019Home .716 242 26 6 28 3 .257 .313 .404
2019Away .714 269 26 11 37 4 .233 .297 .417
2018Home .833 301 39 13 44 3 .255 .350 .483
2018Away .579 300 26 5 31 4 .207 .280 .299
2017Home .698 190 23 5 14 4 .225 .302 .396
2017Away .711 183 20 7 21 2 .240 .280 .431
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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.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.45
 
BB Rate
7.8%
 
K Rate
17.2%
 
BABIP
.265
 
ISO
.166
 
AVG
.245
 
OBP
.304
 
SLG
.410
 
OPS
.715
 
wOBA
.312
 
Exit Velocity
88.1 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
36.8%
 
Barrels/PA
3.9%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
Kipnis has now had two consecutive seasons of below-average offensive production. The numbers he put up in the counting categories were helpful, but not special. The batting average has been a particular drain on fantasy rosters, as it has dropped each of the past four seasons and is now 40 points below where it was just two seasons ago. The advanced batted-ball numbers validate the offensive struggles rather than give one a sense of hope for what could be on the way. The remaining trouble is he continues to struggle with lefties with no signs of turning it around. He has even been slightly below average against righties, which is supposed to be his bread and butter. Kipnis turns 32 just after the start of the season and will be in the final guaranteed year of his deal with Cleveland. It would be great if he could age like Ian Kinsler, but he's well off that pace the past two seasons.
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.
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
Expected to sign with Cubs
2BChicago Cubs  NRI
Hand
February 11, 2020
Kipnis (hand) and the Cubs agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to big-league camp Tuesday, pending a physical, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Club option declined
2BFree Agent  NRI
Hand
October 31, 2019
Kipnis' (hand) club option for 2020 was declined by Cleveland on Thursday, Tom Withers of the Associated Press reports.
ANALYSIS
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Undergoes surgery
2BCleveland Indians  NRI
Hand
September 24, 2019
Kipnis underwent surgery Tuesday to remove the hook of the hamate bone in his right hand, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Surgery set for Tuesday
2BCleveland Indians  NRI
Hand
September 23, 2019
Kipnis (hand) will undergo season-ending surgery Tuesday, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Done for season
2BCleveland Indians  NRI
Hand
September 17, 2019
Kipnis was diagnosed with a fractured hamate bone Tuesday and will be shut down for season-ending surgery.
ANALYSIS
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