Making the Grade: Ranking Second Basemen in the AL Central

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No. 1: Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers

Mar 10, 2015; Clearwater, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop

Jose Iglesias

(1) hits the ball into Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Miguel

Alfredo Gonzalez

(not pictured), allowing Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (not pictured) to score from third base during the third inning of a spring training baseball game at Bright House Field. Gonzalez would have to leave the game. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler was scratched from the Tigers’ lineup in mid-March due to left shoulder soreness, adding to the list of Detroit stars who have been sidelined this spring.

Fortunately for the Tigers, though, Kinsler has since returned to the lineup and picked up right where he left off on a fantastic Grapefruit League.

Entering Sunday, Kinsler was posting a slash line of .400/.483/.880 and hit two home runs. He is a career .273 hitter and stayed consistent to that number in 2014, hitting in front of All-Stars Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

Given all the power behind him, Kinsler will surely see his share of good pitches. He is a four-time All-Star who was among league leaders in 2014 in runs scored (100), hits (188) and doubles (40). He led AL second basemen in RBIs (92) and ranked second in home runs (17).

While age might suggest a looming decline in production, Kinsler is still the most productive second baseman in the division. He played in 161 games last season and can be reasonably expected to put up similar numbers in 2015 — all while combining with Jose Iglesias to produce one of the top defensive middle infield combos in baseball.

Next: Ranking the First Basemen