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Blog Entry

Indians on Kipnis: He's our Utley

Posted on: August 10, 2011 11:02 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 11:09 pm
 

CLEVELAND -- The Indians see Ubaldo Jimenez as their Justin Verlander.

And Jason Kipnis as their Chase Utley. Or Dustin Pedroia.

Doesn't really matter which.

Some in the Indians organization say Kipnis can be Utley, the Phillies All-Star second baseman. Kipnis relates even more to Pedroia, the Red Sox All-Star who preceded him by five years at Arizona State.

"I would love to be put in the same sentence as either one of those guys," the 24-year-old Kipnis said Wednesday night, after the first five-hit, four-run game by an Indians rookie in 59 years.

Fine, here's the sentence, courtesy of Indians manager Manny Acta.

"I feel like we've found our own Pedroia, Utley or something in between," Acta said.

In his first 16 games in the big leagues, Kipnis has hit .295 with six home runs, 11 RBI and a 1.014 OPS. Not bad for a guy who started off 2-for-19.

Of course, Pedroia started even slower, batting .191 in his 31-game late-season trial in 2006.

"I talked to him when we were in Boston," Kipnis said. "He calmed me down."

Indians people say Kipnis has the same toughness that makes Pedroia and Utley so good. They say there's plenty of power, and even opposite-field power that Kipnis hasn't yet shown in his first month in the big leagues.

And they love the way he plays.

"He's a gamer," Acta said. "He's a dirtbag."

Maybe he's Utley. Or Pedroia.

Or something in between.

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Indians on Kipnis: He's our Utley



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