After a thrilling extra-innings victory over the division-rival Houston Astros, there were a few things to takeaway. Isiah Kiner-Falefa was one of those takeaways.
Defensively, Kiner-Falefa has been great this season, proving time and time again that he is a big-league defender and can play multiple positions.
In Houston, IKF showed just how good he could be.
ru kidding me, @Isiahkf11? pic.twitter.com/h1FfuoXOKA— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) September 2, 2020
We knew he could play, but his range and athletic abilities were on full display, showing why he’s in the team’s immediate future. Defensively, his fielding percentage is .973 this year, making only 2 errors in over 250 innings played. When Elvis Andrus wound up on the injured list, IKF filled in at shortstop for 12 games and didn’t miss a beat.
This season, Kiner-Falefa is hitting .284 at the plate with just two home runs, but his hitting was never his forte as a player. He has budded into an excellent utility infielder that can play anywhere on the diamond essentially.
When asked about Kiner-Falefa, Ranger manager Chris Woodward spoke:
“He’s been doing that all year for us, and with Elvis back at short, we put [IKF] at third base and he makes an immediate impact the first game gets out there. He’s good at diving at both sides, and we’ve seen it all the plays down the line. He saved the game in the 9th inning. It shows you how athletic he is and how fearless the kid is.”
The play to save the game vs Houston? Oh, it’s right here:
A nice stop and a nice tag. ?#TogetherWe pic.twitter.com/XiMnjdvC65— Bally Sports Southwest (@BallySportsSW) September 2, 2020
Kiner-Falefa is just 25 years old and has already become one of the best infielders the Texas Rangers have on the roster.
Even in a short season, the Rangers are slowly finding their players of the future, and IKF is definitely one of them.
Featured Image: Jeffrey McWhorter/Associated Press