Despite the uncertainty surrounding the Olympics due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) [VIDEO], Israel baseball bolstered their roster by adding retired MLB veteran Ian Kinsler to their roster.

About Ian Kinsler

Ian Kinsler was born in Tuscon, Arizona on June 22, 1982. He gets his Jewish roots from his father as his mother is Catholic.

In his junior year of high school, he batted .380 and earned second-team all-league honors. In his senior year, he batted .504 with five homers and 26 SB. He was named first-team all-state and first-team all-league for his performance during his senior year.

In high school, he played with four others that ended up making the major leagues.

College baseball

Kinsler was drafted by his hometown Diamondbacks out of high school in round 29 of the 2000 MLB draft. He felt like he wasn't ready to make the jump from high school ball to professional ball so he opted to go to college.

In his freshman year, he attended Central Arizona College where he hit .405 with 24 SB and played with future major leaguers, Scott Hairston and Rich Harden. He was again drafted by the Diamondbacks in round 26 but opted to continue college instead of signing a pro contract.

For his sophomore year, he transferred to Arizona State where he played alongside future MLB players Dustin Pedroia and Andre Ethier.

For his junior year, he transferred to the University of Missouri. He did much better there as he slashed .335/.416/.536 with 16 SB.

Professional career

After a successful junior year, the Rangers drafted him in round 17 of the 2003 MLB draft. He signed with the Rangers for a signing bonus of $30 000.

He spent three years (312 games) in the minors where he batted .304 with 45 HR, 207 RBIs, 370 hits, 89 doubles, and 53 SB.

In his rookie year, he played in 120 games where he slashed .286/.347/.454 with 121 hits and 27 doubles.

During the 2013-14 offseason, he was traded to the Tigers for Prince Fielder.

He retired from major league baseball this offseason and injuries played a big part in him calling it quits.

When he announced his retirement, he was dealing with a herniated cervical disk.

Over his 14-year major league career, he appeared in 1888 games with the Rangers, Tigers, Angels, Red Sox and Padres where he slashed .269/.337/.440 with 257 HR, 909 RBIs, 1999 hits, 416 doubles, 41 triples, and 243 SB with a success rate of 76.7 percent. He is a four-time all-star, two time Gold Glove winner and won Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. He won the World Series as a member of the Red Sox in 2018.

International baseball career

With Kinsler representing Israel nationally at the upcoming Olympics, it's important to look at his previous international stats as he played for Team USA at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

In seven games, he slashed .267/.353/.400 with a homer, three RBIs, eight hits and six runs scored.

Team Israel and baseball at the 2020 Olympics

Kinsler will join team Israel where it hopes to get a medal. He will join former MLB veteran Danny Valencia on the roster as well as Ty Kelly, Ryan Lavarnway, Jeremy Bleich and Jon Moscot who all formerly played in the major leagues.

Israel will be competing against host nation Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and two more countries to be determined in future tournaments that have been pushed back due to the Coronavirus.

Even with the other two countries still undetermined, which could include any of baseball powerhouses; Dominican Republic, Netherlands, and the USA to name a few, Israel has just as good of a chance as any to win a medal which includes the gold.

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