Washington continues to praise Kinsler's offense

Washington continues to praise Kinsler's offense

CHICAGO -- Some numbers indicate Ian Kinsler is having a far better 2013 compared to past seasons. But Rangers manager Ron Washington isn't buying it.

The Rangers leadoff man and second baseman was considered by many to have had down years in 2011 and 2012 because he hit .255 and .256, respectively, after batting .286 in 2010. Kinsler is a career .274 hitter, and is off to a torrid .333 start this year.

"He's not making any more difference than he's been making," Washington said. "Last year he had an 'off-year' and he still put up [105] runs on the board, scoring-wise. All people wanted to talk about was the average. He crossed the dish. The year before, he crossed the dish a ton. The only difference now is he's got a .330 average and I guess that makes him a quality leadoff hitter."

Kinsler has a career OPS of .815 that didn't waver much the last few seasons. Through 30 games this season, he's at what would be a career-best .946. He's scored at least 100 runs in four of the last five seasons and entered Monday with a team-best 19.

"I don't hear complaints coming out of other towns about their leadoff hitter that's hitting .280 and scoring 90 runs," Washington said. "This man hits .260-something and scored close to 120. … And you take his RBIs and add them to his runs scored, he produces almost 200-some runs. Take those other guys, and I guarantee they're around 150-160."

Kinsler was third in the American League last year in runs scored, behind Rookie of the Year Mike Trout (129) and MVP Miguel Cabrera (109).

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.& This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.