Confession: I have a man-crush on Jason Kipnis. No, it doesn’t have to do with the fact that he is stunningly handsome, or that he seems to maintain a positive attitude. It is, however, partially related to the way he makes behind-the-back flips like Roberto Alomar, and the way he hits three-run walk-off bombs. But when Kip really gets me going, it’s when he’s flying around the bases like a goddamn gazelle:

Kipnis is by no means the fastest guy in the league. He simply gets great jumps, and goes balls-out on every play.

Just tonight, with the Indians leading the Rangers 5-0, Kipnis reached on a lead-off walk. He got a ridiculous jump off pitcher Kyle McClellan, swiping his 14th base of the year with ease, as A.J. Pierzynksi’s late throw sailed wildly over the intended target.

What happened next exemplifies the great base running instincts that Kipnis brings to the table. Usually, when a runner is on 2nd base and a ball is hit in front of them, they stay at 2nd. The exception to this rule, of course, is when the ball is hit weakly, causing either the shortstop or third baseman to charge the ball, leaving the fielder with no opportunity to make a play on the runner advancing to 3rd base.  When Nick Swisher dribbled a ball to Elvis Andrus, Kipnis broke immediately for 3rd and advanced easily. The reality is that most Major League players would have moved up on this play. But to watch Kipnis do it is a thing of beauty. There is no hesitation, no wasted motion. He pivots, and turns on the burners.

Now Jason found himself on third base with 1 out. After Ryan Raburn lined out, Kipnis scored on a wild pitch. Again, most base runners would have scored, as the ball took a ridiculous carom off the ridiculous brick wall in Arlington. And yet again, it was the jump that sets him apart: as soon as the ball hit the dirt he was darting toward home.

And as soon as he crossed home plate I was texting my friend: “I get hot when Jason Kipnis runs the bases.”