Angels Fill Second Base Void with Ian Kinsler Trade
The Angels have acquired Ian Kinsler from the Tigers for prospects Wilkel Hernandez and Troy Montgomery. Kinsler gives the Angels a significant upgrade at second base while Detroit sheds his contract.
For Kinsler’s value, it’s tough to really move it up or down, but it’s probably up a touch. He goes from one pitcher’s park to another pitcher’s park. He was going to hit leadoff at either place. The hitting talent around him is probably better with the Angels. The 35-year-old is coming off a 2017 season in which he hit .236/.313/.412 with 22 homers and 14 steals. A career .273 hitter, Kinsler is a good bet to hit .270 with 20 homers and 10 stolen bases for the Angels while providing an ample number of runs scored.
No one of significant fantasy value was affected on the Angels since their second base position was a huge void. If owners were counting on Kaleb Cowart or Jefry Marte to carry their fantasy teams, tough luck.
The rest of the players hitting around Kinsler will likely see a small boost in runs and RBI, as the Angels rotated eight different players through the leadoff spot in 2017. Cameron Maybin and Yunel Escobar saw the most time at the top. Overall, the Angels’ leadoff hitters batted .253/.320/.383 with 16 homers in 2017.
As for the Tigers’ second base void, it appears Dixon Machado will man second with several other replacement-level players able to step in if needed. No rebuild situation is pretty.
As for the Tigers’ return, Montgomery is a 22-year-old athletic outfielder with speed but no power who made it to Double-A last year. With Detroit rebuilding, he could see major league time, but he’s not on anyone’s prospect radar. Hernandez is an 18-year-old hard-throwing righty who is years away from the majors.
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