A lot was placed upon Jason Kipnis yet again early before the 2015 season began by many analysts, including myself. Many saw that the 2014 season was somewhat of a fluke being that he injured his oblique which, all criticisms aside, takes a huge toll on a hitter’s ability to not only put full contact on the ball but also even just give a legitimate swing.

Kipnis basically lost his ability to crush the ball to the opposite field, and spent the vast majority of 2014 simply trying to figure out and learn that very ability that earned him his money and his title as a top tier second baseman in the MLB today.

 

Kipnis has seemingly struggled thus far into the season, but steadily his all around ability seems to be recovering more and more. Let’s analyze his progression overall.       

(JASON KIPNIS 2013 SPRAY  CHART)

chart

 

In 2013, as you can see by the spray chart above, Kipnis would use the entire field to his advantage when hitting (Something most hitters struggle to do overall). Kipnis did this to the tune of a .284 BA, 160 Hits, 17 Home Runs, and 84 RBI’s, all while picking up an All Star berth as well. Kipnis had full capability to drive the ball to both sides of the field, and it served him extremely well.

 

 (JASON KIPNIS 2014 SPRAY CHART)

chart (2)

 

In 2014, one can see that Kipnis did not utilize both sides of the field as well as he did in 2013. Kipnis would somewhat begin to figure out the ability that earned him the contract he received early in 2014 later into the season, but still the genuine ability to utilize both sides of the field continued to elude him overall. Kipnis would hit flyballs to left-field, but never really could spray them to left as he did in 2013 and thus he struggled. 

 (JASON KIPNIS 2015 SPRAY CHART — THUS FAR)

chart (1)

 

In 2015 thus far, we can easily see that Kipnis is driving the ball more often than not to the left side collectively. While he hasn’t been utilizing both sides of the field as he did in 2013, his progression to the ability to hit the ball to the opposite side of the field slowly but surely appears to be finally coming back to Kipnis. The issue more than anything seems to be his ability to use it for hits.

Yet there are reasons for optimism, even despite his dull start to the season. Kipnis is in full health, and thusfar his defense has been a highlight for his play.

 

While one cannot truly say whether or not Kipnis will truly return to the 2013 All Star that he was, Kipnis appears to absolutely be on the right track.

 

As a fan, that in itself is something to be optimistic about.       

 As always,

Roll Tribe!

 

-Tyler Meitin

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