Cleveland Indians’ Jason Kipnis Thriving in Leadoff Role

While the Indians’ season isn’t going as planned, there are a few positives to pick out so far this season.  One of them is Jason Kipnis. He has been red hot this May, batting .462 (18-for-39) with two home runs and six runs batted in. Part of that may be because of manager Terry Francona‘s decision to take OF Michael Bourn out of the leadoff spot in favor of Kipnis. Kipnis has batted in each of the first three spots in the lineup so far this season and it seems like the Indians have found their new leadoff hitter.

While batting in the number one spot in the order, Kipnis has hit .333 (21-for-63) while slugging three home runs and driving in ten. Surprisingly, nine of Kipnis’s ten extra-base hits have come out of the leadoff spot. Not only is he hitting well, he has also been much better at getting on base via the walk. In 63 total at-bats batting second and third, he walked only twice. Since being moved up to the leadoff spot, he has walked eight times in just as many at-bats as he had in the other two spots in the lineup.

Overall this season, Kipnis is hitting .294 with three homers and 14 RBI. The months of May and June have been his most productive months in his five-year MLB career and all signs are showing that he won’t be letting up. Look for him to make his second career all-star game this season even though he has some stiff competition at second base in the American League.

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