Editor’s Note: This profile was done by our newest addition, Patrick, a law student and fellow East Coast transplant living in San Francisco. Patrick’s giving us a fresh look and has given our profiles a much needed shot in the arm. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one and here’s to many more where this came from.
Quick, who’s the best second-baseman in baseball? It’s a tough call. ESPN would probably duke it out between Cano and Pedroia partisans, depending on their predilection for either longballs or for defense and ‘grit.’ The insufferably clever ones might argue for Ben Zobrist in a contrarian, self-satisfied manner. But a quick glance at FanGraphs’ WAR chart (Wins Above Replacement) among second-basemen shows one name over those other stars: Jason Kipnis.
While much ink was spilt over its offseason acquisitions, the 2013 Cleveland Indians have been a surprise contender mostly thanks to their homegrown all-star second baseman. A member of the Tribe in more ways than one (his father is Jewish), Kipnis leads a scrappy Indians team, outpacing prominent newcomers like Michael Bourne, Nick Swisher, and Trevor Bauer. A true five-tooler in only his second full year, Cleveland’s most complete player is shining bright and will continue to do so as long as the Indians can avoid trading him for Matt Williams (ask your older brother if you don’t know what I’m talking about). At any rate, he may not get the headlines, but the kid can flat-out play. Is it all thanks to his equipment? Well, let’s look at what he’s working with.
Custom Wilson A2000 1786
Kipnis may not be a be a gold glover just yet, but at present he more than holds his own at the keystone using a custom 11.5” Wilson A2000 1786 glove.
Kipnis has an exclusive customized version with blue/red branding that you can’t get with the all-black configuration on WilsonCustomGloves.com. Wilson throws some color restrictions on their in the name of tastefulness, which I tend to agree with for the most part, but sometimes you want to get a little saucy, too.
Oakley Radar Pitch Straight Stem
This former ASU Sun Devil seems very comfortable going commando during day games. On the rare occasion that Kipnis does sport sunglasses, he goes with his custom version of the Oakley Radar Pitch Straight Stems. Straight stems are only available through the custom builder unless you find them on the secondary market. Kipnis’ are available with the following specs:
- Frame: Polished Black (Straight Stem)
- Lens: Fire Iridium Pitch
- Icon: Polished Chrome
- Earsock: Red