Kinsler is a very young power Ranger 

The names among the 2007 American League home run leaders read off like an All-Star team from the past five years — MVP winners Justin Morneau and Alex Rodriguez and perennial slugger David Ortiz are just some of the big-time players among this year’s top long-ball specialists.

But there is one player near the top of the AL home run list who doesn’t quite register the same celebratory familiarity.

That player would be Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, who ranks second to A-Rod (nine), in the AL with seven home runs.

Only Rodriguez has better all-around offensive totals this season in the junior circuit than Kinsler, who was just named AL Player of the Week after going on a 10-for-21 tear that included four home runs and eight RBIs. That weeklong outburst included home runs in three straight games and a 4-for-4 performance in the one game in which he didn’t leave the ballpark.

After a solid rookie season in which he batted .286 in 120 games and hit 14 homers with 55 RBIs — above-average power numbers for a second baseman — Kinsler has been unstoppable in 2007.

Along with his seven home runs, the 24-year-old Kinsler also is tied for second in the AL with 13 RBIs, has 12 runs, is batting .359 and has a remarkable 1.320 OPS.

With his steady numbers from 2006 and an explosive 2007 spring training in which he hit .429, Kinsler was on most fantasy baseball players’ radar, but his recent success might now make him one of the most desired second basemen in the league.

Kinsler is ranked eighth among second basemen by CBS Sportsline, but none of the players above him — including Chase Utley, Robinson Cano and Dan Uggla — possess the same power stats he has put up this year.

That said, even with his gaudy early-season home run total, Kinsler has not turned into a freewheeling hack looking to put the ball out the park every at-bat, which should result in a consistent batting average for the second-year big-leaguer.


» Jason Frasor, RP, Blue Jays

» Taylor Tankersley, RP, Marlins

» Josh Hamilton, OF, Reds

» Aaron Hill, 2B, Blue Jays

» Chris Duncan, OF, Cardinals


» Brett Myers, SP, Phillies

» Adam LaRoche, 1B, Pirates

» Craig Biggio, 2B, Astros

» Chuck James, SP, Braves

» Mike Cameron, OF, Padres

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Will Reisman

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