Is anyone quietly selling shares of Ian Kinsler?

Funston and I are taping a few baseball segments today, and one of them deals with sell-high recommendations for the second-half. Because no other fantasy site thinks to produce content like that. Sometimes it's like the box is over there, and our thinking is way over here, far outside of it.

My choices for that segment were reasonable, but also kind of gutless: Justin Duchscherer and Milton Bradley.

If you're looking to make a bold, season-saving trade, those names are almost certainly not big enough. It's not like many of you expect Duchscherer to maintain a sub-2.00 ERA and sub-0.90 WHIP, and most people in the fantasy community realize that Bradley ownership has its peaks and valleys (and its altercations, and various other amusements).

Still, it's worth shopping both of them. But you'll see many of the same names repeated in sell-high columns over the next few days, and that, in turn, can soften the market for those players in competitive leagues.

Let's throw out a different name, one that should be significant enough to get you anything you need via trade: Ian Kinsler.

Are you shopping him? Is Kinsler a sell-high candidate, or is that crazy talk?

He's currently No. 2 in the Yahoo! player rankings and he's leading the American League in batting average (.337). He's also on pace to finish with something like 25 home runs and 40 steals. A five-category middle infielder is, of course, a massively valuable trade chip in any format. It's also entirely possible that Kinsler has become an irreplaceable piece of your contending roster, and one that you wouldn't consider dealing in any one-for-one trade. Maybe he's exactly this good.

If there's a case to be made for trading him, it probably begins with an argument about the average. Kinsler's .365 batting average on balls-in-play is considerably higher than anyone's forecast, and it's nearly 50 points above his career BABIP. And he's not slump-proof, as those of us who owned him last season from late-April to early-June can tell you.

But projections are wrong, frequently. Kinsler is only 26 and he's taking full advantage of an excellent hitting environment at home, batting .376/.436/.557 in Texas and .299/.358/.539 elsewhere. There are also hitters who maintain consistently high BABIPs.

So are you selling, or are you holding?

This is supposed to be a polite discussion, not a lecture. I would just answer this question by hedging, and giving a rambling answer about team needs that ends with "Maybe. No player is untouchable."

None of you need to hear that again. If anyone thinks Kinsler is a must-sell, let's hear why. Particularly if you own him in the official blog league, or the somewhat-less-official commenters league...


Programming note: Due to SportStream-related commitments, I'm checking out for a while. The Juggernaut Index returns tomorrow. Mr. Pianowski will publish the definitive piece on National League closers later today, and of course we're always punctual with Closing Time.

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