Isiah Kiner-Falefa has always been a shortstop, but first had to fake his confidence as a catcher and a third baseman for the Texas Rangers.
After winning a Gold Glove as a third baseman last season, Kiner-Falefa feels like he can finally be himself, and the leader for a rebuilding team, as their starting shortstop.
"Third base isn't who I am. It's what I did," Kiner-Falefa said. "I'm shortstop. I'm an elite shortstop, and I'm ready to prove it. But I understood that for me to get this opportunity, I had to be a really good third baseman. And that's just one of the things I did. I had to be a catcher. ... And now I can be myself and do what I want to do, not what everybody else wants me to do."
The Rangers had enough confidence in the Hawaiian, who turns 26 on March 23, that they declared him their top shortstop this offseason before trading Elvis Andrus -- their opening day shortstop each of the past 12 seasons, and the only player remaining from their two World Series appearances a decade ago.