|Cleveland Indians – No. 22|
April 3, 1987 |
|Bats: Left||Throws: Right|
|July 22, 2011 for the Cleveland Indians|
(through May 20, 2013)
|Runs batted in||119|
Jason Michael Kipnis (born April 3, 1987; nicknamed "Kip") is an American baseball player who plays second base for the Cleveland Indians. He attended Glenbrook North High School, where he earned three letters playing baseball for the Glenbrook North Spartans. He attended the University of Kentucky, but transferred to Arizona State University after two years. In college, Kipnis was an All American and the 2009 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year for the Sun Devils.
The Indians selected Kipnis in the second round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. In 2010, he was named the Indians' Minor League Player of the Year, and a Baseball America Minor League All Star. Prior to the 2011 season, Baseball Prospectus ranked him as the top Indians prospect and the 28th-highest prospect in baseball. At mid-season, Baseball America rated him as baseball's 31st-best prospect. He was called up from the minor leagues on July 22, 2011. In 2012, he became the starting second baseman for the Indians.
Early life 
Jason Michael Kipnis was born on April 3, 1987 in Northbrook, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He was the fourth child born to Kay and Mark Kipnis. He has two older brothers, Blair and Todd. His older sister Amanda played softball at the University of Maryland. As a child, his father played an important role in his baseball life. He played Little League and American Legion Baseball. Though Kipnis played baseball, football and soccer while growing up, he said there was never any question that his goal was to become a professional baseball player.
High school 
Kipnis attended Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, graduating in 2005. He earned three letters in baseball for the Glenbrook North Spartans and was selected as team captain twice. He played shortstop, center field and pitcher. As an all-conference junior, Kipnis batted .455 with a school-record 11 home runs. As a senior, Kipnis batted .521 with a .690 on base percentage and 32 stolen bases in 32 attempts; he was named first-team all-state and the Central Suburban League Most Valuable Player. He was named all-conference in both his junior and senior seasons.
As a freshman at Glenbrook North, Kipnis played soccer, setting the school's single-season goal scoring record with 41. He also played football there in 2003 and 2004. An All-Conference wide receiver, Kipnis set single-season school records for receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He also established school records for career receptions and receiving yards. As a senior in 2004, Kipnis had 49 pass receptions for 956 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 2004 totals remain Glenbrook North single-season records for receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Kipnis still holds the school's career record with 1,247 receiving yards. In December 2004, the Pioneer Press sports staff selected Kipnis as a member of its "2004 North Stars," the all-star football team for the Central Suburban League's North Division. In announcing its selection, the Pioneer Press noted: "Quite simply one of the top receivers in the state, a player who piled up impressive numbers despite the fact the Spartans averaged barely 15 passing attempts per game."
After graduating from high school in 2005, Kipnis attended the University of Kentucky and then Arizona State University. At the University of Kentucky, Kipnis red-shirted during the 2006 baseball season. In the spring of 2007, Kipnis began competing with the Kentucky Wildcats during baseball games, where he batted .337 with a .450 on base percentage as an outfielder while stealing 11 bases in 12 attempts in 34 games. In February of that year, Kipnis was awarded Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week honors. In the summer before his sophomore year, Kipnis played for the Covington Lumberjacks of the Valley Baseball League, a National Collegiate Athletic Association-sanctioned collegiate summer baseball league in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia. He batted .318 with a .505 on base percentage and 24 stolen bases.
After two years at the University of Kentucky, Kipnis transferred to Arizona State University. He played baseball for the Sun Devils and double-majored in psychology and sociology. In an interview, Kipnis stated that the University of Kentucky wasn't the right fit for him and that ASU's college baseball reputation would make it a better fit.
In 2008, Kipnis batted .371 with 14 home runs and 73 runs batted in. He finished second in the league with 24 stolen bases in 28 attempts. Kipnis primarily played center field, but played all outfield positions and second base; he batted leadoff part of the time. In 2008, Kipnis became the second Arizona State player to win the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Pacific-10 Conference Newcomer of the Year. (Teammate Ike Davis earned the award two years earlier.) Kipnis was named second-team All America by the ABCA and named third-team All-American outfielder by Baseball America. In May 2008, he won the Pacific 10 Player of the Week award. In June, the San Diego Padres drafted Kipnis during the fourth round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft. However, Kipnis opted to remain in college at Arizona State, becoming the seventh-highest player in the draft who chose not to sign. He decided not to sign with the Padres because he felt he hadn't fully matured and accomplished everything in college. Regarding Kipnis' success, Arizona State coach Pat Murphy observed: "I love that kid. He's tough as nails, and really hard on himself." Moreover, Paul DePodesta, San Diego Padres front office assistant and former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager, described him as "a pesky player who is a very tough out, hitting the ball to all fields and running the bases aggressively ... [who] plays very hard and is surprisingly strong." In the summer of 2008, Kipnis played for the Cotuit Kettleers in the Cape Cod League, a collegiate summer baseball league located on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
In 2009, Kipnis was the team's leadoff hitter and batted .384 with a .500 on base percentage and a .709 slugging percentage. He finished with 16 home runs, 71 RBIs, 27 steals in 33 attempts, 51 walks and 32 strikeouts. The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), Baseball America, and Collegiate Baseball named Kipnis the Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year, a Pac-10 Conference All-Star outfielder, and a First Team College All-American outfielder. Rivals.com rated Kipnis the number one outfielder in the nation.
Over two seasons, Kipnis batted .378 with 30 home runs, 144 RBIs, 142 runs, 37 doubles, 10 triples, and 51 stolen bases in 474 at bats for the Sun Devils. His efforts lead him to be considered the best hitter on the Sun Devils.
Minor leagues 
The Cleveland Indians drafted Kipnis in the second round (63rd overall) of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft, and he received a signing bonus of $575,000. In 2009, the first-year minor leaguer batted .306 for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the Short-Season A classification New York-Penn League, playing left and center field. While Kipnis appeared to be a good prospect as an outfielder, the Indians hoped that Kipnis would be even more valuable as a second baseman. He felt he could have more success in the majors if he played second base, particularly because of Cleveland's difficulties at that position in recent years. Baseball America ranked him the fifth-best player in the league. During this time, Baseball Prospectus rated him the Indians' eighth-best prospect, describing Kipnis as "fitting great baseball intelligence, a lot of intensity, and surprising tools into a small package. He works the count extremely well and makes consistently hard contact, and he has some surprising pop for his size."
In 2010, Kipnis batted .300 for the Kinston Indians of the Carolina League. Kipnis was promoted from Kinston to the Akron Aeros of the AA Eastern League on June 10, 2010. He hit .311 for the Aeros and won the Aeros Player of the Week Award twice. Baseball America ranked Kipnis the ninth-best prospect in the Eastern League. At the same time, Kipnis made a successful conversion to second base.
He joined the AAA Columbus Clippers for their playoffs. Kipnis batted .455 in five games, and hit for the cycle on September 17 in the Clippers’ victory that clinched the International League title. His big game was voted second in the 2010 Fans Choice "Best Game" Minor League Baseball Yearly Awards. Veteran catcher Luke Carlin said:
They bring up Kipnis from Akron, and we look at this little guy and say, 'Where did he come from, and what is he doing here?' We were teasing him, and all he does is go out and hit about a million. I mean, here's this little infielder and they put him in the fifth spot ... What's that about? He goes out and hits for the cycle.
For 2010, Kipnis led the Indians minor league system in hits (159) and runs (96). He finished tied for third in triples (8), fourth in doubles (32), and tied for fifth in both home runs (16) and RBIs (74). He batted a combined .313. He was named the Indians' 2010 Minor League Player of the Year (the "Lou Boudreau Award"), and was named a 2010 Baseball America Minor League All-Star.
After the 2010 season, Kipnis played for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League. He batted .296 and tied for fifth in the league in RBIs (19). He was named to the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game, and he wrote a blog for MLB.com during his time in the league. Baseball Prospectus ranked him as Cleveland's top prospect.
Baseball Prospectus 2011 reported that Kipnis was "a compact athlete who works the count, and consistently barrels up balls with enough power for 15–20 home runs annually in the big leagues." Indians Manager Manny Acta described him as: "a blue collar, dirt bag, run-through-a-wall, relentless type of guy." Writer John Sickels said Kipnis is "quite strong and has plenty of bat speed. His feel for the strike zone is impressive, and he has no problem generating power. He seems to handle both fastballs and breaking stuff well, makes adjustments, and can handle left-handed pitching just fine."
Baseball Prospectus ranked him as the 28th-highest prospect in baseball (".300 hitter, with 12–18 home runs") and the best in the organization. Jim Bowden ranked him the 39th-best prospect in baseball, saying, "He made great progress defensively this past year, and there is no doubt he should be a .300, 15 HR, 70 RBI type offensive 2B in the future". Baseball America initially ranked him as the 54th-best prospect in baseball, the second-best second base prospect and the second-best prospect in the Indians organization. By midseason, the publication ranked him 31st-best in the minors.
In 2011, Kipnis was named the Indians Minor League Player of the Week for June 26 – July 2, after batting .500 with two home runs and a .581 on-base percentage. At that point in the season, Kipnis was 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts and was leading the International League in runs scored (60) and triples (9). At that time he was also second in OPS (.914), fourth in slugging percentage (.525), fifth in on-base percentage (.389), tied for sixth in RBIs (50), tied for seventh in hits (90), twelfth in average (.305), tied for fifteenth in stolen bases (11), and tied for nineteenth in HRs (11). On July 4, Kipnis was named the International League Player of the Week.
Kipnis represented the Cleveland Indians in the 2011 All-Star Futures Game on July 10, hitting a 95-mph fastball for a home run when he led off the bottom of the first inning for the United States. Kipnis also was named to the International League All-Star team, and he doubled and walked in the game on July 13.
On July 22, 2011, Kipnis was called up from the Clippers to the Cleveland Indians. At the time, he was leading the International league in triples (9), was second in runs scored (64), seventh in total bases (164), tied for tenth in walks (44), twelfth in RBIs (55), and seventeenth in stolen bases (12 in 13 attempts).
Major leagues 
Cleveland Indians (2011–present) 
Kipnis made his major league debut on July 22, 2011, starting at second base against the Chicago White Sox. His first career hit came in his next game two days later – a game-winning walk-off single with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. On August 3, 2011, Kipnis became the first Indians second baseman to hit a home run in four consecutive games, and the only Indian other than former Indians MVP Al Rosen to do so in his rookie year. It was the first time in major league history that a player had homered in four consecutive games within two weeks of his major league debut. On August 10, Kipnis had a five-hit, four-run game, the first time a rookie had done so since Jim Fridley in 1952. In 2011, he played 36 games in the major leagues and batted .272 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs.
Jason Kipnis got the Opening Day starting job at second base for 2012. On May 3, 2012, in a game against the Chicago White Sox, Kipnis had a triple, home run, and a career-high four RBIs in a 7–5 Indians victory. On June 1, Kipnis hit his first major league grand slam off Minnesota Twins' starting pitcher Carl Pavano. Kipnis played 152 games in 2012, batting .257 with 14 home runs and 76 RBIs.
Personal life 
Kipnis is a practicing Roman Catholic, though he self-identifies as Jewish due to his father's Jewish ancestry. Kipnis has been nicknamed "Dirtbag," since he is prone to get his uniform dirty during the course of a game. Former Indians manager Manny Acta affectionately used the term when speaking about Kipnis in public.
- "Player Bio: Jason Kipnis". Thesundevils.cstv.com. Retrieved August 3, 2011.
- "Baseball America 2011 Top 100 Prospects". Baseball America. February 23, 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2011.(rating Kipnis #54 in its list of top 100 prospects)
- "Jason Kipnis Awards". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Murr, Chuck (March 29, 2011). "Pro Baseball Career Has Deep Roots in Northbrook". Northbrook Patch. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- "Player Bio: Jason Kipnis". Ukathletics.com. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Goldman, Steven (2011). Baseball Prospectus 2011. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-470-62206-7. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Martinez, Robert (November 29, 2010). "Glenbrook North Grad Chases Major League Baseball Dreams". Northbrook Patch. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Dennis Mahoney (July 8, 2004). "Napoleon knows how to deliver". Skokie Review. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Coffman, Jim (July 1, 2004). "Northbrook hits rough stretch". Glenview Announcements. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Policar, Randy (2008). Arizona State Sun Devil Baseball Media Guide (PDF). Ben Franklin Press, Inc. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "Jason Kipnis Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights". mlb.com. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Chuck Crow (February 23, 2011). "Cleveland Indians prospect watch: Jason Kipnis". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Dennis Mahoney (December 9, 2004). "Kelly stands out in final grid year". Skokie Review.
- "Glenbrook North Spartans Football: Individual Records".
- Douglas Kroll (September 6, 2007). "Same Faces, New Places; Some teams strike gold in transfers". CSTV. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- "Cats' Coughlin Receives National Honor". Wkyt.com. March 6, 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Barber, Mike (August 1, 2007). "Jacks Jolt Turks". Daily News-Record. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Paul DePodesta (June 5, 2008). "You Go First: Jason Kipnis #2". Itmightbedangerous.blogspot.com. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Valade, Jodie (June 2, 2012). "Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis: Proud to be a 'Dirtbag'". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- "Jason Kipnis interview". Muscle Prodigy. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- Metcalfe, Jeff (April 16, 2009). "ASU baseball: Kipnis making the most of return". Azcentral.com. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Douglas Kroll (May 29, 2008). "Same Faces, New Places; Some teams strike gold in transfers". CSTV. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Metcalfe, Jeff (April 24, 2008). "ASU's Kipnis reduces, produces". Azcentral.com. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- "Jason Kipnis Named Pac-10 Player of the Week". CSTV. May 27, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- "Jason Kipnis Statistics". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Goldstein, Kevin (March 31, 2009). "Future Shock: Tuesday's Monday Ten Pack". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- "Cape League: Brewster takes East lead". Cape Cod Times. June 28, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Marc Means (August 3, 2009). "Scrappers Add 2nd Round Draft Pick to Roster". Minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Augie Garrido, Kevin Costner (2011). Life Is Yours to Win: Lessons Forged from the Purpose, Passion, and Magic of Baseball. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 1-4391-8693-6. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Will Carroll, Steven Goldman, Christina Kahrl (2010). Baseball Prospectus 2010. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-470-55840-7. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Pluto, Terry (July 3, 2012). "'Loafing' is a dirty word to a baseball dirtbag". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- "Cleveland Indians prospects do moderately well in Baseball America minor league rankings". The Plain Dealer. October 15, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Goldstein, Kevin (November 20, 2009). "Future Shock: Indians Top 11 Prospects". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Feerasta, Aniqua (July 15, 2010). "Kipnis showing to be keeper for Aeros". West Side Leader. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- "Kipnis Wins Aeros Player of the Week Award". OurSports Central. June 21, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- "Aeros Name Alex White Player of the Week". OurSports Central. July 26, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- "White Named Indians Minor League Pitcher Of Year". Witn.com. October 22, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Hall, David (April 25, 2010). "K-Tribe's Kipnis embraces new job". Jd News. Archived from the original on April 27, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- Hill, Benjamin (November 1, 2010). "Fans name top Minors team, game". Minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Ingraham, Jim (January 30, 2011). "Indians prospect Jason Kipnis is on the fast track to the big leagues". The News-Herald. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- "2B Jason Kipnis named Indians Minor League Player of The Week". mlb.com. July 5, 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- "Final edition reveals our Minor League All-Star Team". Baseball America. September 10, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- Hoynes, Paul (November 18, 2010). "Bud Selig says Major League Baseball players, owners are playing nice". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Goldstein, Kevin (November 30, 2010). "Future Shock: Cleveland Indians Top 11 Prospects". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Chuck Crow. "Grady Sizemore will start covering the bases in his comeback return: Indians Insider". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Boring, Kent (July 8, 2011). "Prospect of the Day: Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians". Minor League Ball. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "Kipnis called up from Triple-A; Converted second baseman can play outfield, Valbuena sent down". WTAM. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Thomas Ondrey (February 12, 2011). "P.M. Cleveland Indians links: Shin-Soo Choo the reliable standout on a roster full with questions". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "2011 Top 100 Prospects: 41–60". Baseball America. February 23, 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- "Chisenhall, Kipnis to start season in minors". NBC Sports. February 2, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Evans, Brad (July 20, 2011). "Jason Kipnis small in stature, enormous in potential". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Bopp, Justin (July 21, 2011). "Cleveland Indians Call Up Jason Kipnis". MLB Daily Dish. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "Indians promote 2B prospect Jason Kipnis". Sporting News. July 22, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Meizel, Zack (June 23, 2011). "Drew Pomeranz, Jason Kipnis to represent Indians at Futures Game". mlb.com. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Haller, Doug (July 10, 2011). "Former ASU star Jason Kipnis leads Team USA over Team World in All-Star Futures Game". Azcentral.com. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Badler, Ben (July 10, 2011). "Prospects: Futures Game Superlatives". Baseball America. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Phillips, Carron J. (July 14, 2011). "Triple-A All-Star Game: How the players did". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Pouliot, Matthew (July 21, 2011). "Indians call up top prospect Jason Kipnis". NBC Sports. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Bastien, Jordan (July 21, 2011). "Tribe calls up touted prospect Jason Kipnis; Up-and-coming second baseman could see time in the outfield". mlb.com. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "News alert: Indians call up 2B Jason Kipnis". Jewish Baseball News. July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "Cleveland Indians call up Jason Kipnis". Associated Press. July 22, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- "Indians 3, Angels 2: Rally ends Tribe Skid". The Chronicle Telegram. July 26, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- "Jason Kipnis on a HR roll". cleveland.com. August 5, 2006. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
- "Show-stopper: Kipnis off to amazing start". mlb.com. July 31, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
- "Kipnis Penning Quite the Rookie Campaign". MLB.com. August 10, 2011. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
- APV (April 1, 2012). "2012 Opening Day roster". Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- "Kipnis powers Indians past White Sox 7–5". Associated Press. May 3, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "Jason Kipnis hits grand slam in Indians' rout of Twins". Associated Press. June 1, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
- Bloom, Nate (August 5, 2011). "Jewish Stars". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
- Manoloff, Dennis (May 7, 2012). "Jason Kipnis growing more comfortable at second base: Cleveland Indians Insider". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jason Kipnis|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- University of Kentucky bio
- Cotuit Kettleers bio
- Kip's Korner..., Indians prospect Jason Kipnis shares his Arizona Fall League experience, MLB Pro Blog
- Jason Kipnis on Twitter
- Facebook page
|Indians' Minor League Player of the Year
(the Lou Boudreau Award)