Early in the 2018 season, Isiah Kiner-Falefa made his major league debut for the Texas Rangers, filling in at second base for an ailing Rougned Odor.
When he caught Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who opened the game on the mound, on June 20th, he started his first game as a catcher and constituted one-half of the first hyphenated battery in major league history.
He was named the starting third baseman in 2020 and was a surprise Gold Glove Award winner for his defensive work at the hot corner.
He was drafted as a shortstop and played second and third base in the minors until the Rangers chose to put him behind the plate to increase his value to the organization.
He batted .280 in 58 games with an OPS+ of 93, pretty bad for someone who was just considered a utility guy a few years ago.
His progress as a standout defensive player shifted the Rangers’ intentions, and they announced after the 2020 season that he would take over as the team’s starting shortstop in 2021, replacing long-time veteran Elvis Andrus.
In 2020, he started 15 games at the position. Of course, the SS/C combo was extremely uncommon in the major leagues, with Kyle Farmer being the only other active player to have played both positions in as many as ten games.
A few names from the past, such as Dave Cochrane, Jamie Quirk, Bobby Bragan, and Moe Berg, suit the bill.
How Tall Is Isiah Kiner-Falefa?
Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s height is 1.78 m.