Jason Kipnis: The Leadoff Master

Indians fans don’t have much to cheer about this year, and that can still change, but they do have certain aspects of the game that get their attention. One of those aspects is Jason Kipnis, one of the top hitters in baseball right now, and perhaps the most underrated.

Since being placed in the leadoff spot, Jason has been absolutely on fire. In all, Kipnis has hit a .424 average (not including Tuesday’s game) since getting placed in the spot. In his 20 games leading off, he has rose his average from .225 to .340. In May alone, Kipnis is hitting an insane .517 average, going 31 for 70. 12 of these hits have been extra base hits as well (eight doubles, one triple, and three home runs). Sure, Kipnis can’t take all credit for getting the offense going this month, but he sure can get credit for getting on early and creating scoring opportunities for Michael Brantley and others who come up in the line-up soon after him.

Kipnis doesn’t just get on in the first inning. During his last hitting streak (eight games), Kipnis had gotten on three times in one game for seven straight games. Kipnis tied a record set by Riggs Stephenson in 1924 by getting on base at least three times in seven straight games. He also set the franchise record for that same stat. This isn’t the first time Kipnis has been hot like this, though. In June 2013, Kipnis hit .419, 12 doubles, 25 RBI, 17 runs and 30 walks in 27 games. This hot streak led Kipnis to his first all-star appearance and a lot of confidence, too. Sure this streak now won’t last forever, and he knows that, but there is no doubt this has and will continue to help the team.

Jason Kipnis is looking like he did two years ago, which is good for the Indians. This is considering the fact that after the all-star break in 2013 he helped lead the push to get to the wildcard game. The Indians still have a lot of games left, and maybe if this current hot streak can at least be half as good as the last one, the rest of the team can feed off of it and do well as a group.

The Indians have a lot to be optimistic about and Jason Kipnis getting it all started.

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