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Friday, September 18, 2009

Hey, Angels Fans: Andre Ethier Is A Dodger

... and you should be grateful. AN deputy blogger baseballgirl is wistful:
We remember Milton Bradley for all of his dramatic moments during the season and the playoffs, and it has been widely accepted that he lead the A's to their postseason berth, but the numbers simply don't bear that out. Bradley only played in 96 games in 2006, hitting .276 with 14 home runs (one very dramatic one on AN Day), 52 RBIs, an OPS of .818, just ahead of his replacements; Jay Payton .743 and Bobby Kielty .743. In fact, Milton Bradley only once in his whole career played over 130 games in a season, only once hit over 20 home runs, and only once has had over 70 RBIs.

In contrast, Andre Ethier has been an absolute stud for the Dodgers the last four years; he is also the walk-off rival of Marco Scutaro, except with the career .294/.364/.495 line instead of Marco's .266/.337.385. In the very season he was traded, Ethier played twenty more games than Milton Bradley did, batted 30 points higher, with almost as many home runs, and a 30 percent higher slugging percentage. In his rookie year!

She goes on to note that Ethier has broken out this year and last to become an elite player. It's certainly one of the worst trades the A's have made in the hopes of staying in contention of late, reminiscent perhaps of the John Smoltz trade, as well as being perhaps Ned Colletti's best deal ever.

Update: Auld lang syne: I was uncertain about the deal at the time, tending toward disliking it because of Ethier's injury history (he had back microfracture), and Kevin Goldstein labeling him "another toolsy outfielder who can hit .300 but does little else offensively". Guess that assessment came up a bit short, huh?

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I love Ethier, but he's not an elite player.
Ethier's a Sun Devil.
KempKershaw -- what right fielders in the NL are better? BPro (by VORP) says Justin Upton and Jayson Werth. I'd call that elite, especially considering the fact that Werth has trouble staying on the field.
Just because a player is among the best at his position doesn't make him elite among everyone who plays.

I also don't consider Werth elite. And again, I really like Ethier.

Ethier's WAR is 2.8, his fielding really drags him down. He's been atrocious out there this year.


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