Jason Kipnis a surprise 30/30 candidate
June, 11, 2012
By Eric Karabell | ESPN Insider
The topic of potential 30-homer, 30-stolen base players is always popular, and not only for fantasy baseball owners. It's not so easy to finish a baseball season with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases, despite the fact four players did so last season (Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ian Kinsler). In 2010 nobody did it. A total of three players achieved this from 2008-10 (Kinsler, Grady Sizemore, Hanley Ramirez). It's tough to do!
As for this season, entering Monday Braun and Andrew McCutchen are the only players on pace for 30/30 -- so much for a big letdown season for Braun, eh? -- but there's a new surprising candidate in the race: Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis homered for the 10th time Sunday, a tiebreaking three-run blast off St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Motte in the ninth inning, and earlier stole his 15th base. Kipnis enters the week on pace for 27 blasts and 41 steals, and let's just say back in March we didn't forecast either of those numbers to come from the bat or legs of Cleveland's sophomore second baseman. Frankly, even after his strong April, who expected it then?