Best Spokane Indian Ever Head-to-Head: No. 2 Ian Kinsler vs. No. - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Best Spokane Indian Ever Head-to-Head: No. 2 Ian Kinsler vs. No. 7 Jurickson Profar

Two former Spokane shortstops who later turned into Texas Rangers second basemen go head-to-head in SWX's best-ever Spokane Indian contest. (Photo: Spokane Indians) Two former Spokane shortstops who later turned into Texas Rangers second basemen go head-to-head in SWX's best-ever Spokane Indian contest. (Photo: Spokane Indians)
With the voting in our best-ever Spokane Indian poll heating up, SWX will take a look at the matchups over the next few days to help you make a more educated vote, if not a slanted and biased one based off of local media trying to persuade you to vote for their man! Here is the pairing between seeds No. 2 and No. 7. Make sure you share this with every Indians fan you know as the list will be cut down to 4 on Monday, June 2.

You can cast your vote for all of the final field of eight

No. 2 seed Ian Kinsler:
The People’s Choice (by Dustin Toms-Spokane Indians Media Relations)

For the newer Spokane Indians fans, there really is only one player who sticks out above the rest. Sure Tommy Lasorda is a legend in his own right, and Steve Garvey is arguably one of the GREATEST players of all-time. But starting in 1993, one player began to make the Indians his own and has since developed into one of the best second basemen in all of the Major Leagues. Ian Kinsler is the people’s choice.Look at what he did in his one year in Spokane. He was an unknown star on the first Single-A Texas Rangers team in Spokane – one of the key players, and starting shortstop, on the 2003 Northwest League Championship squad. He could do more than hit –.277 in 188 plate appearances–thanks to his speed. Kinsler had a team-high 11 steals and six triples. But it wasn’t just his career in Spokane and the minor leagues, Kinsler made it to The Show just three years after his professional debut.

He switched to second base once he arrived in Texas and was quickly slotted into the leadoff spot, and played a large part in helping the Rangers win back-to-back American League titles. His career on-base percentage of .350 and 178 stolen bases show that he is a deceptive base runner that will keep any pitcher looking over his shoulder. Just last summer he made headlines by being swapped for the (considered) perennial All-Star stud Prince Fielder. Now he’s tearing it up in Detroit, doing what he does best: playing stellar levels baseball at second base.

Did we mention he’s a three-time All-Star who’s on the verge of making his fourth appearance in the Mid-Summer Classic as he leads all second baseman; yes, even the Mariners’ Robinson Cano.

No. 7 seed Jurickson Profar: The Bright Future at Second Base (by Josh Ouellette)

The infielder from Willemstad, Curacao has been a name in the Rangers organization since he signed with Texas back in 2009. His fast ascent through the minor league ladder--including his summer with the Spokane Indians in 2010--gave him a chance to join the big leagues late in the 2012 season, just two years after his professional debut. When he came up he gave Ranger fans a reason to shout, hitting a home run in his first MLB at bat. The first time he ever hit leadoff for Texas, he hit another home run off of the Seattle Mariners' Hisashi Iwakuma. Both times he was called up, Profar delivered. Both times he was called up, Profar was replacing his seeded counterpart Ian Kinsler. 

While Rangers fans won't and shouldn't dispel what Kinsler has done during his career in Arlington, looking at the bright future of Jurickson Profar offers Indians fans a reason to vote for him over the aged All-Star. Put it this way, Texas thinks so highly of Profar that they shipped Ian Kinsler off so the 21-year old could be its everyday second baseman.

Looking at his stats from his time with Spokane can be misleading. In 63 games Profar batted .250 with 42 runs, 23 RBI and 4 homers. On the field in an Indians unifore Profar finished with a .953 fielding percentage with only 16 errors.  Some would say that statline isn't great, not anything to write home about, or anything that could show signs of the greatness to come. What most forget is that he was only 17 years old when he took to the diamond in front of the crowd at Avista Stadium. Those numbers look a little bit more impressive now, right?

The only reason Profar's athletic plays or clutch hits aren't blowing up on ESPN's "Sports Center" right now is because of a shoulder injury he has struggled with. While healthy, Profar has shown enough talent to make the cut in this poll finding the greatest Spokane Indian of all-time. When he comes back from the DL, Profar will show you why he deserves to be named the greatest to ever throw on an Indians cap. 

Voting for this poll has closed! Come back to vote in the semi-final round on Tuesday, June 3, at 9:00 a.m. PDT!