Isiah Kiner-Falefa

Isiah Kiner-Falefa (born March 23, 1995) is an American professional baseball infielder and catcher for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He is nicknamed "the Hawaiian Hustle."[1][2]

Isiah Kiner-Falefa
Kiner-Falefa, Mayfield (35493146632) (cropped).jpg
Kiner-Falefa (left) at the 2017 Texas League All-Star Game
Texas Rangers – No. 9
Infielder / Catcher
Born: (1995-03-23) March 23, 1995 (age 26)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 10, 2018, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
(through 2021 season)
Batting average.265
Home runs16
Runs batted in118
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Professional careerEdit

Minor leaguesEdit

Kiner-Falefa attended Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the fourth round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft.[3] He made his professional debut with the Arizona League Rangers and spent all of 2013 there, batting .322 with 11 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 41 games. In 2014, he played for the AZL Rangers, Hickory Crawdads, and Spokane Indians where he batted .246 with 16 RBIs in 79 games, and in 2015, he played with Hickory and the High Desert Mavericks, where he batted .296 with 40 RBIs in 98 games. Kiner-Falefa spent 2016 with the Frisco RoughRiders where he compiled a .256 batting average with 27 RBIs in 108 games.

Kiner-Falefa has played numerous positions in the Rangers organization, including shortstop, second base, third baseman and catcher.[4][5][6] He played in 2017 with Frisco where he batted .288 with five home runs and 48 RBIs in 129 games.[7] The Rangers added him to their 40-man roster after the 2017 season.[8] He opened the 2018 season with the Round Rock Express, appearing in five games before being recalled to the major leagues for the rest of the season.

Texas RangersEdit

Kiner-Falefa made his Major League debut against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 10, 2018.[9] On April 14, against the Houston Astros, he hit his first career home run.[10] Kiner-Falefa appeared in 111 games during his rookie season of 2018, hitting .261/.325/.357/.682 with 4 home runs and 34 RBI, while playing games at catcher, third base, shortstop, and second base. He opened the 2019 season with Rangers in a catching tandem with veteran Jeff Mathis.[11] Kiner-Falefa was placed on the injured list on June 7, and recalled on August 2 in the role of utility infielder and third string catcher.[12] He finished 2019 hitting .238/.299/.322 with one home run and 21 RBI.

In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Kiner-Falefa hit .280/.329/.370 with 3 home runs and 10 RBI in 58 games. He was awarded the AL Gold Glove Award for third basemen.[13] Over 158 games as the Rangers starting shortstop in 2021, he hit .271/.312/.357/.670 with 8 home runs, 53 RBI, and 20 stolen bases.[14] Defensively, he moved to shortstop and led his position with 436 assists and 98 double plays.

PersonalEdit

Kiner-Falefa is of Samoan, Hawaiian, and Japanese descent.[15] His great-great grandmother is from Hiroshima, Japan.[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Isiah Got That Hustle". Facebook. Fox Sports Southwest. September 18, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  2. ^ "Hi, I'm Isiah Kiner-Falefa. AMA! (Tues @ 1pm)". Reddit. April 23, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  3. ^ Billy Hull (June 7, 2013). "Wong, Kiner-Falefa selected in fourth round of MLB draft". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  4. ^ "A Familiar Path For Isiah Kiner-Falefa". Baseball America. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  5. ^ Kate Morrison (June 8, 2017). "Rangers prospect Kiner-Falefa reimagined as utility catcher". WFAA. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  6. ^ Stephen Hunt (May 15, 2016). "Kiner-Falefa embracing new position in Frisco". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  7. ^ "Isiah Kiner-Falefa Stats, Highlights, Bio". MiLB.com. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "Texas Rangers: Pitchers in forefront as Rangers add to 40-man major-league roster". The Dallas Morning News. November 20, 2017. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  9. ^ T.R. Sullivan (April 11, 2018). "Rangers' Isiah Kiner-Falefa makes MLB debut". MLB.com. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Sam Spangler (April 15, 2018). "Video: Garcia, Kiner-Falefa leave the yard in MLB". KHON (in American English). Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  11. ^ T.R. Sullivan (March 15, 2019). "Chris Woodward sees a 50-50 split in playing time between Jeff Mathis and Isiah Kiner-Falefa". Twitter. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  12. ^ Jeff Wilson (August 6, 2019). "Kiner-Falefa says catching wasn't waste of time. Is he OK being a Rangers infielder again?". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  13. ^ Grant, Evan (November 3, 2020). "Rangers' Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Joey Gallo win Gold Gloves after defensive switches this season". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  14. ^ Levi Weaver (October 6, 2021). "Grading the 2021 Texas Rangers: Position players edition". The Athletic. Retrieved October 8, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ Evan Grant (May 30, 2018). "How the Rangers found Isiah Kiner-Falefa and the prophetic words he told the scout who signed him". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  16. ^ 丹羽政善 (June 4, 2018). "イチローが選手登録を外れてから1カ月 来季を視野に、変わらず妥協なく". Sportsnavi (in Japanese). Yahoo Sports. Retrieved June 15, 2018.

External linksEdit