Question: Will Isiah Kiner-Falefa have to play third base?
The plan all along was for Kiner-Falefa to be the team’s starting catcher come opening day. That seemed rather obvious until Profar was dealt. IKF played a great 3B last year, but his 35 starts behind the plate were not just for show. The signing of notorious backup catcher, Jeff Mathis, also seemed to play right into the Rangers’ plans for the Kiner-Falefa to start at catcher.
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Now, the position is his. He’ll still flash around the infield throughout the season, but the majority of his starts will take place with a catcher’s mitt on his left hand.
That’s how it needs to be. IKF earned the right after the 2018 season. He stepped into a position where he had little experience and did an excellent job. He also proved valuable at the plate, posting a .261 batting average and .325 OBP.
The Texas Rangers need him in the lineup and they need him behind the plate. He has the athleticism, quick release, and strong arm to be a great catcher. All Texas has to worry about is not overworking him at such a young age.