Found June 28, 2013 on
When the Cleveland Indians drafted Jason Kipnis out of Arizona State in the second round of the 2009 amateur draft, he was projected as an extra outfielder-type prospect with average tools. Now, just four years later, Kipnis is the everyday second baseman for the Indians and looks to be one of the team’s true building blocks for the future.
Upon being drafted in 2009, Kipnis began establishing his “dirtbag” persona (in reference to his hustling style of play) as he quickly made his way up the ranks of the Indians’ farm system. During his first season in the minors, Kipnis hit .306 for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Low-A) while playing a solid outfield. He followed his impressive short stint with the Scrappers by hitting .300 for the Kinston Indians (High-A), leading to a promotion to Double-A Akron. It was not until he reached Akron that Kipnis made the full transition from outfield to second base, where he batted .311 in 79 games for the Aeros. Kipnis’ stint in Akron also brought about a rise in power production, as the second baseman hit ten home runs while driving in 43 runs for the Aeros, as well.
Jason Kipnis successfully made the transition from outfield to second base while moving his way up through the Indians’ minor league system. (Photo credit: Tony Dejak/AP)
While his Single- and Double-A numbers were certainly not underwhelming by any standard, Jason Kipnis’ true coming-out party did not come until he was promoted to Triple-A Columbus for the Clippers’ 2010 playoff run. In just five games, Kipnis batted .455 (10-22) and even hit for the cycle in the Clippers’ International League championship title-clinching victory. It was then that Indians fans truly began to take notice of their future second baseman, as he was just finishing his rapid ascension through the Indians minor league system and knocking on the doorstep of the big leagues.
In 2011, Kipnis played a productive 93 games for the Clippers (.280 AVG./12 HR/55 RBI/12 SB) before being promoted to Cleveland for the remainder of the season. In just 36 games with the Tribe, Kipnis batted at a .272 clip while hitting seven home runs and driving in 19 runs. He had produced strong enough numbers to solidify a starting role with the Indians for the upcoming 2012 season.
During the early goings of the 2012 season, Kipnis showed why he had made such a quick climb up the rungs of the minor league ladder. The second baseman got off to a torrid pace and appeared to be well on his way to an excellent season both at the plate and on the field. However, Kipnis’ hot bat cooled off as the season rolled along, as he hit only .233 after the All-Star break. His stellar defensive play persisted throughout the year, though, and he compiled a very respectable .991 fielding percentage for the 2012 season while leaving little evidence of any lingering struggles in adjusting from his prior positional shift from outfield to second base.
At the start of the 2013 season, while newly-acquired free agents Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn stole most of the headlines, many experts predicted a breakout third year for Kipnis. Most fantasy baseball preview magazines and online articles listed Kipnis as one of the top five fantasy second baseman for 2013. Much to the dismay of fantasy baseball participants (not to mention Tribe fans), Kipnis struggled mightily during the early part of the season.
Most people, Terry Francona included, figured that the addition of a few solid offensive contributors (Swisher, Bourn, Mark Reynolds), as well as the expected continued development of previous members of the ball club (Carlos Santana, Lonnie Chisenhall), would allow Kipnis to see better pitches from opposing hurlers. Despite the early success of teammates such as Mark Reynolds and Carlos Santana, Kipnis just could not get into a groove during the first two months of the season. And then the month of June came along.
By the time the weather was starting to heat up, the Indians bats were starting to cool down. Mark Reynolds, who had gotten off to a tremendous start, had cooled off mightily. Carlos Santana’s story was the same as Reynolds. Other members of the ball club were faltering, too, and the dismal performances of the pitching staff were not helping. So as mentions of the annual “June Swoon” were being tossed about amongst the conversations of Tribe fans, Jason Kipnis’ bat suddenly came to life.
Since the start of June, Jason Kipnis has hit .398 with three home runs and 19 runs batted in, while also stealing seven bases. His once sub-.250 average is now up to .288, and he currently ranks third among all major league second basemen with 11 home runs and fourth with 45 runs batted in. He leads all second basemen in slugging percentage and OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) and is tied for the lead in stolen bases among second basemen with 17. If the numbers aren’t enough for you, Kipnis’ knack for clutch performances has been on display all season long, with his walk-off three-run home run against the Mariners on May 17th serving as one of the Tribe’s most memorable plays of the season thus far (see video below). Not bad for a guy who was once regarded as a fringe major league outfield prospect with just “average” tools.
Not since the days of Robbie Alomar has Cleveland seen a second baseman that garners as much excitement as Jason Kipnis does. His all-out approach to the game of baseball, as well as his natural abilities, have given Indians fans something to look forward to at the second base position for years to come. In the words of a t-shirt released by Fresh Brewed Tees, a sports apparel company based in Cleveland: “We are all Kipnises!”
BEST OF MAXIM
Starting the second game of the Indians twin bill against the White Sox, splitting time between Seinfield and the torturously slow Jose Quintana, I began to pour over the absurdity of production that is Jason Kipnis.
Perhaps it is “trendy” to discuss Jason’s torrid rate but for intents and purposes it is an unavoidable discourse that ends in me drooling over his fangraphs...
The Cleveland Indians have activated closer Chris Perez from the 15-day disabled list.
Perez last pitched on May 26 in Boston and has been on the DL since May 27 with a strained right shoulder. He recently made three rehab appearances, June 16-25, at AA Akron, A Lake County and Short-Season A Mahoning Valley. So far through 2013, he is 2-1 with six saves in eight attempts with a...
According to Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland minor leaguer RHP Dillon Howard has been suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy-
#Indians minor league RHP Dillon Howard has been suspended for 50 games for violation of drug policty. Howard was 2nd rnd pick in 2011.
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) June 28, 2013
Major League Baseball issued this release-
NORFOLK- The Columbus Clippers fell to the Norfolk Tides Friday night, 8-4. Even after a late rally in the ninth the Clippers could not come up with enough to make up for their early deficit to Norfolk.
TJ House started on the mound for Columbus for his first start back since being sent down from Cleveland. House pitched a shaky two innings walking one batter, hitting a Norfolk batter...
The Cleveland Indians have activated Chris Perez from the 15-day disabled list after the closer missed just over a month due to a strained right rotator cuff. Perez will join the Indians in the middle of a series with the Baltimore Orioles and will retake the reigns as primary closer from Vinnie Pestano, who performed solidly in Perez’s absence.Pestano was five-for-five in save...
Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.
Matt Packer (Akron, SP) – W (6-5), 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R (earned), 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP
On a rough night in the organization (like Friday night), it can often be hard to find a feature-worthy...
CHICAGO (AP) -- Nick Swisher singled in the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox for the third time in less than 24 hours, 4-3 Saturday.
Swisher's homer in the ninth inning Friday night helped Cleveland secure a sweep of a marathon doubleheader Friday night.
This time, Cabrera, Jason Kipnis and Swisher hit three consecutive...
With the gaze of Cleveland sports fans firmly on the Cavaliers and the NBA draft, the Indians picked a good night to play uninspired baseball.
Early on, it looked as though Corey Kluber (6-5, 4.16 ERA) would keep the Indians in the game and add another strong performance to his surprising summer. That came to a screeching halt in the fifth inning when Kluber allowed five runs. The...
Keith Allison Time for some more predictions for a few players that might have already surprised us. Domonic Brown is a great young player that is starting to really get it together. Raul Ibanez is not so young, but he's mashing it in Seattle. Jason Kipnis is red hot. How will they do the rest of the year??? Let's make a few bold predictions. Domonic Brown | PHIBrown...
CHICAGO -- Cleveland first baseman Nick Swisher drove in the tie-breaking run for the second straight game as the Indians beat the Chicago White Sox for the third time in 24 hours, 4-3 Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Indians have won nine of their last 12 games and trail the Detroit Tigers by 1.5 games in the American League Central, pending the outcome of Detroit vs. Tampa...
CHICAGO (AP) -- Nick Swisher's approach couldn't have been more simple. The result couldn't have been more timely.
Swisher ripped a long solo homer to cap a four-run ninth inning against Addison Reed Friday night, lifting the Cleveland Indians to a 9-8 victory over the Chicago White Sox for a sweep of the longest doubleheader by time for two nine-inning games.
Roster Update: As expected, Chris Perez returned to the Indians bullpen tonight and T.J. House was sent back to AAA. In other roster news, John McDonald, who was designated for assignment yesterday, has been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for the infamous player to be named later or cash.
Player of the Game
Lonnie Chisenhall had his best all around game of the season...
Luis Lugo (SP, Mahoning Valley): 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K.
Another very good outing from Lugo to start his 2013 campaign at Mahoning Valley, and he is now 1-1 with a 0.60 ERA in three starts, and in 15.0 innings he has allowed 10 hits, 1 home run, 1 walk, and has 8 strikeouts. Lugo has gone exactly five innings in all three of his starts and is showing that he may have found...
The Phillies looked around for some veteran infield help and found some in veteran John McDonald from the Cleveland Indians. McDonald will join the Phillies on Friday, meaning someone will be headed down to Lehigh Valley.