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Kinsler or Phillips?

The last 24 hours have been eventful if you are a baseball fan or an elite MLB second baseman. In that span, Ian Kinsler and the Texas Rangers agreed to a five-year, $75 million contract extension and Brandon Phillips and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a six-year, $72.5 million pact. This brings up an interesting question: who is the better second baseman?

The Case for Phillips

Phillips' gifts are no more apparent than when he shows off the leather. He has already accumulated three Gold Glove awards, including two consecutive in 2010 and 2011. He has emerged as the premiere defensive second baseman in the NL, and he is arguably the best defensive #4 in the game.

Not only is Phillips a glovesmith, he is a much-improved hitter. He had a breakout year offensively in 2011, batting .300 with 18 home runs and 82 RBIs. He also had a career high OBP (.353) and near career highs in SLG (.457) and OPS (.810).

And if this whole baseball thing doesn’t work out for him, he definitely has a future in dentistry commercials!

The Case for Kinsler

It is no secret that Kinsler is one of (if not the) best power-hitting leadoff men in the Majors. He is a perennial 30/30 threat, a feat that he has accomplished twice already in his young career. Last season was a career year for Kinsler, who set a career high for HRs (32) to go along with near career highs in RBIs (77), SLG (.477) and OPS (.832).

To go along with his regular season numbers, Kinsler has put together a rather impressive postseason career. In 33 Postseason games, he has hit four homers and driven in 20 runs to go along with a .303 batting average, .413 OBP and .892 OPS. To put it lightly, his Postseason game is big like everything else in Texas.

My Choice: Ian Kinsler

My reasoning:

1. Power: Kinsler only trails Phillips in career HRs by four and career RBIs by 115, and he has played in 378 fewer games. Also, Kinsler’s career OPS (.832) dwarfs Phillips’ (.755). Moreover, Kinsler’s '11 numbers are a sign of a potential oncoming power surge. With his contract and future secure, it seems likely that he could continue to improve.

2. Upside: Kinsler is almost a full year younger than Phillips, and it has taken him much less time to find his power stroke. As mentioned above, he has gone 30/30 twice, and he shows no signs of slowing down (some pun intended). Kinsler looks to be a force for many years to come, and much of that can be attributed to his supporting cast.

3. Lineup: Over the next five seasons, it seems likely that Kinsler will get many more pitches to hit because of the unbelievable lineup that he leads off for. The only real threat behind Phillips in Cincinnati’s lineup is Votto. Assuming Josh Hamilton resigns with Texas at some point, opposing pitchers will have to find a way to avoid him, Beltre, Cruz and Napoli sending balls deep into the Texas night with Kinsler on base.

The MLB Fan Cave and I threw this same question out on Twitter and an overwhelming amount of people agreed that Kinsler is better than Phillips. What do you think?

The debate gauntlet has been thrown down, so tweet me at @KyleOKC and @MLBFanCave.

The last 24 hours have been eventful if you are a baseball fan or an elite MLB second baseman. In that span, Ian Kinsler and the Texas Rangers agreed to a five-year, $75 million contract extension and Brandon Phillips and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a six-year, $72.5 million pact. This brings up an interesting question: who is the better second baseman?

The Case for Phillips

Phillips' gifts are no more apparent than when he shows off the leather. He has already accumulated three Gold Glove awards, including two consecutive in 2010 and 2011. He has emerged as the premiere defensive second baseman in the NL, and he is arguably the best defensive #4 in the game.

Not only is Phillips a glovesmith, he is a much-improved hitter. He had a breakout year offensively in 2011, batting .300 with 18 home runs and 82 RBIs. He also had a career high OBP (.353) and near career highs in SLG (.457) and OPS (.810).

And if this whole baseball thing doesn’t work out for him, he definitely has a future in dentistry commercials!

The Case for Kinsler

It is no secret that Kinsler is one of (if not the) best power-hitting leadoff men in the Majors. He is a perennial 30/30 threat, a feat that he has accomplished twice already in his young career. Last season was a career year for Kinsler, who set a career high for HRs (32) to go along with near career highs in RBIs (77), SLG (.477) and OPS (.832).

To go along with his regular season numbers, Kinsler has put together a rather impressive postseason career. In 33 Postseason games, he has hit four homers and driven in 20 runs to go along with a .303 batting average, .413 OBP and .892 OPS. To put it lightly, his Postseason game is big like everything else in Texas.

My Choice: Ian Kinsler

My reasoning:

1. Power: Kinsler only trails Phillips in career HRs by four and career RBIs by 115, and he has played in 378 fewer games. Also, Kinsler’s career OPS (.832) dwarfs Phillips’ (.755). Moreover, Kinsler’s '11 numbers are a sign of a potential oncoming power surge. With his contract and future secure, it seems likely that he could continue to improve.

2. Upside: Kinsler is almost a full year younger than Phillips, and it has taken him much less time to find his power stroke. As mentioned above, he has gone 30/30 twice, and he shows no signs of slowing down (some pun intended). Kinsler looks to be a force for many years to come, and much of that can be attributed to his supporting cast.

3. Lineup: Over the next five seasons, it seems likely that Kinsler will get many more pitches to hit because of the unbelievable lineup that he leads off for. The only real threat behind Phillips in Cincinnati’s lineup is Votto. Assuming Josh Hamilton resigns with Texas at some point, opposing pitchers will have to find a way to avoid him, Beltre, Cruz and Napoli sending balls deep into the Texas night with Kinsler on base.

The MLB Fan Cave and I threw this same question out on Twitter and an overwhelming amount of people agreed that Kinsler is better than Phillips. What do you think?

The debate gauntlet has been thrown down, so tweet me at @KyleOKC and @MLBFanCave.