When you play in a league where you’re required to draft at least one player that sounds like a dish from a delicatessen, who do you want? Kipnis or the Russian émigré, Kasha Varnishkes? Easy, Jason Kipnis. Even in leagues that aren’t drafted on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Kipnis needs less selling than a five-day-old kugel when you look at Bill James’s 2012 projections for him — 88/18/69/.272/18. If you look at his short stint with the Indians where he had 7 homers and 5 steals with a .272 average in 136 ABs that looks less crackers than it should, but it’s crackers nevertheless. He had a HR/FB of 20.6%, which is nice but he’s not repeating it. Last year that figure would’ve put him in the top ten in the league with hitters like Fielder, Bautista, Granderson and Mini Donkey. His ISO last year was about the same as Ryan Howard. As you can imagine, that’s kind of silly. So now that we know what not to expect of Jason Kipnis in 2012 fantasy baseball, what can we expect?
His .313 BABIP from last year isn’t far off from where it can be, but more fly balls that don’t leave the park and his .272 will drop at least fifteen points. He strikes out enough to make sure that comes to fruition too. BTW, when an apple goes to college, what does it pay? Fruition. That one is for you, Highlights Magazine. Then when his HR/FB% stabilizes, he’ll be closer to Neil Walker in power than a young Larry Walker. Also, not sure where Bill James is coming up with 18 steals for him. BJ’s Wholesale Club Projections: All stats are in bulk! And we have cheap hot dogs! Kipnis’s best minor league season saw him steal 12 bases in 92 games, but that was the minor leagues and Kipnis is more of a player with good-for-his-position power and some speed. Not good-for-his-position speed. Since I’m writing this post in December, there’s a chance Kipnis actually gets overdrafted by the time we reach March and he’s no longer a sleeper. Though if he’s still on the board later on in drafts or for cheap, I like him. Think a line around 80/14/60/.255/12. Which is much better than you’ll ever see from Kasha Varnishkes.