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ASU in the Pros Series: Detroit Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler

Kinsler is one of the top former Sun Devils in the MLB today.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Kinsler’s baseball career has been nothing short of tremendous. The Arizona native transitioned from having an outstanding player at Central Arizona College to maintaining that level with Arizona State, before establishing himself as one of the best infielders in the Major Leagues over the course of the past two decades.

The 35-year-old has enjoyed an illustrious career that hasn’t slowed down just yet.

Time at ASU

Kinsler was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 29th round of the 2000 MLB Draft. He wasn’t recruited by any Division I programs, but elected to spend a freshman season at Central Arizona College where he batted .405 with 17 doubles, 37 RBIs, and swiped 24 bases. He then joined ASU for his sophomore year — despite being drafted by the D-backs again (26th round) — and played with the likes of Dustin Pedroia and Andre Ethier. However, a lack of playing time spurred Kinsler to transfer out of ASU and join Missouri, where he slashed .335/.416/.536 to go with 16 stolen bases during his junior year.

Time in the Pros

After turning down the chance to play with Arizona twice, Kinsler made the jump the third time around. Following his lone season in Missouri, Kinsler joined the Texas Rangers after being chosen by the club during the 17th round of the 2003 Draft. He spent four highly-productive years within the Rangers’ Minor League system before joining the parent club in 2006, breaking in at second base.

Kinsler played for the Rangers from 2006-2013. He hit .273/.343./.449 over eight seasons, earning three All-Star trips, and became Texas’ all-time stolen base leader in 2013, amassing 172.

In November 2013, Kinsler was traded to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Prince Fielder. Kinsler made his fourth All-Star appearance the following year, and in 2016, he earned his first Gold Glove Award at 34 years old. While a World Series ring has eluded Kinsler, he did help lead the United States to securing gold at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.