The 2011 Indians will look to Jason Kipnis to provide the same spark as Asdrubal Cabrera provided in 2007.
The 2007 Indians offense needed a boost and second baseman Josh Barfield had posted a disappointing slash line of .244/.273/.318 (.590 OPS) covering 414 plate appearances. The Indians made the change on August 8th, 2007 by replacing starting second baseman Josh Barfield with a 21 year old infield prospect named Asdrubal Cabrera. A bold move for the Indians franchise as Cabrera had played most of the season in AA Akron where he posted a .310/.383/.454 slash line in 425 games before being promoted to AAA Buffalo where he appeared in only 9 games (40 PA) prior to his callup.
After the callup, Asdrubal Cabrera finished 2007 with a slash line of .283/.354/.421 (.755 OPS) covering 186 PA. More importantly, the Indians went 31-14 in games that Cabrera appeared (28-12 in starts) and the Indians held off Detroit and went on to win the AL Central crown.
In 2011 the Indians find themselves in need of an offensive spark and once again have a need at second base where veteran Orlando Cabrera has posted a slash line of .244/.275/.323 (OPS of .598) covering 335 PA. The Indians will look to 24 year old second base prospect Jason Kipnis to provide the boost that Asdrubal Cabrera provided in 2007. Through 91 games (398 PA) in AAA Columbus, Kipnis posted a slash line of .279/.361/.481 with 12 HR and 55 RBI.
Can Kipnis match Asdrubal's production and value from 07. Asdrubal Cabrera played nearly every game as he was a switch hitter and Kipnis playing time, according to manager Manny Acta, will be determined on a game by game basis dependent on matchup. For additional information on the path that Jason Kipnis took from University of Kentucky to the majors, check out the Jason Kipnis Future Star or Superstar article.