JAWS Hall of Fame Inductee 2023: Andre Eether

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The following article is part of Jay Jaffe’s ongoing look at the candidates on the BBWAA 2023 Hall of Fame ballot. For a detailed introduction to this year’s ballot, and the other candidates in the series, use the tool above; An introduction to JAWS can be found here here. For a tentative schedule and opportunity to fill out a Hall of Fame ballot for our crowdsourcing project, see here. All war numbers refer to baseball reference unless otherwise noted.

2023 BBWAA Nominee: Andre Either

player POS Professional war The height of the war jaw h HR SB AVG/OBP/SLG OPS+
Andre Ethier RF 21.5 18.8 20.2 1,367 162 29 .285 / .359 / .463 122

Source: Baseball Reference

It would be an overstatement to call a Dodgers acquisition a Andre Ethier A turning point in the history of the franchise, however, was when the team took him from the A’s in December 2005 in exchange for a player Antonio Perez And a defensive player Milton BradleyI’ve only made three postseason appearances and won the grand total in one playoff game in the first 11 years of the Wild Card era—one playoff game since winning the World Series in 1988, until. During Ethier’s 12-year career, the Dodgers reached the playoffs eight times, and while injuries eventually limited his role, he signed an RBI single in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series, retiring as the franchise’s playing leader in postseason games (51).

As a Dodgers regular from 2006-15—usually in right field, but with years spent primarily left or center as well—Ethier combined good baseline skills with a pop in the middle of the lineup, hooking up with a handful of homegrown players while helping the team win five Premier League titles and the addition of a Wild Card appearance in that period. During that time, Ethier made two All-Star teams, won Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards, became a fan favorite, and was awarded a five-year $85 million extension that unfortunately didn’t go as well as hoped. Indeed, the Dodgers have at times seemed blind to his own limitations, underexposing his pitching left (note his career 73 wRC+ against Southern guns, 139 against right) and overestimating his defensive capabilities. However, he’s spent his entire major league career in one spot, making him one of two individual favorites on this year’s ballot (Matt Kane is the other).

Andre Everett Ethier was born on April 10, 1982 in Phoenix, Arizona, one of seven children of Byron Ethier and Priscilla Ethier. Byron, who is of French-Canadian descent Cherokee descentHe played baseball at Yavapai Junior College (winning the NJCAA championship in 1977) and briefly played professional softball. byron’s father, Ether house (Pierre Leo Ethier), spent eight seasons playing professionally during the period 1949-1958, and according to me Los Angeles TimesPete’s father and grandfather both played professionally as well. Andrei’s younger brother Devon Ethier (b. 1990) He spent three seasons in the Dodgers organization as well after being drafted in the 32nd round in 2010.

“The Ethiers have played a lot of baseball over the years,” Byron told The Guardian. timesKevin Baxter in 2009.

Andre began playing T-ball at the age of four on a team coached by his mother, with his younger brother Adam as a member of the team as well. Byron and Priscilla had divorced by then, but “but both parents put their differences aside… Mom coached her sons’ T-ball teams while Dad videotaped, then changed jobs as the boys grew,” according to Baxter. Even Byron I learned to throw left-handed to give the left-swinging Andre enough exposure for a wicket from the same side.

At St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, Ethier hit . 527 during his senior year and was named first-team all-district and second-team all-state. He attended Arizona State University (his childhood dream) and played briefly with the Sun Devils in the fall of 2000, but the coaches advised him he had no Division I talent. He transferred to Chandler Gilbert Community College, where he hit . 468, earned all-conference and all-regional honors, and was drafted by the A’s in the 37th round in 2001. He didn’t sign, but returned to ASU and proved talented enough to put in Division I, making first team All-Pac-10 in 2002 and 2003. The A’s drafted him again in the second round in 2003, and he signed for a $58,000 bonus.

Ethier’s rise up the organizational ladder was relatively quick, though it was halted by a stress fracture in his back in 2004, the only year in his early career that he spent entirely at one level. 319/. 385/. 497 at Double-A Midland, earned a late-season promotion to Triple-A Sacramento, and played in the Arizona Fall League. The Dodgers, who had just named Ned Colletti as their new general manager in mid-November after a 91 losing season, traded Perez and Bradley to Oakland in exchange for Ethier just a month later. While Coletti does enough moves to be groaning The curse of having a specific writerGM’s first major deal proved to be one of his best.

Ethier cracked baseball america List of top 100 prospects at no. 89 in 2006, then was caught at the .349/.447/.500 clip in hitter-friendly Las Vegas before the Dodgers called him up. Fittingly, he made his debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 2, 2006, going 1-for-4 with a double off Louis Vizcaino As well as walking. The next day he went down Duane Brazelton, the first of 11 he had hit that year while hitting .308/.365/.477 (113 OPS+) with a 2.4 WAR. The 24-year-old rookie’s performance helped the Dodgers claim an NL Wild Card spot, despite only appearing in one plate appearance in the Division Series as the Dodgers were swept.

After a meager showing (105 OPS+, 1.1 WAR) in full-time action during the Dodgers’ 82-80 2007 season, Ethier broke out in ’08, hitting .305/.375/.510 (132 OPS+) with 20 homers, though. Although the subpar defense was limited to 2.2 WAR. Full of talented youngsters and local farmers – including anglers Russell Martincenter fielder Matt KempTrue Chad Billingsley and left Clayton Kershaw The Dodgers won a division title with only an 84-78 record, but pulled off their first postseason series win since 1988 before falling to the Phillies in the NLCS. Ethier hit just . 188/. 297/. 219 without an RBI in 37 postseason games.

In 2009, Ethier matched his 132 OPS+ for the previous year while hitting 31 career homers and reaching a 3.0 WAR. He earned a reputation as a clutch performer with six major league strikeouts, tying Jamie Foxx (1940) and Roy Sievers (1957) for the single-season record of teammates with four (his career total of seven is Restricted for franchising side by side Jill Hodges And Duke Snyder, and both hit at least twice the number of reptiles overall). The Dodgers improved to 95 wins in repeat as NL West champions, and this time Ethier shone in October, hitting .355/.429/.806 with three homers as the team swept the Cardinals before losing again to the Phillies. Notably, he went 3-for-5 with a double, triple and homer in St. Louis’ shutout in the Division Series, then drew the bases loaded eighth inning with a walk JA Hap to force the home run into Game 2 of the NLCS.

Capitalizing on hot starts, Ethier earned All-Star honors in 2010 and 11, but injuries decided some of the sparkle off his final numbers in both seasons. In 2010, he hit .392/.457/.744 through May 14 and was leading the league in both triple crown and triple slash stats when he broke the little finger of his right hand during batting practice. Even though he only missed 15 games, he hit . 260/. 335/. 413 the rest of the way, but he still finished with 23 homers and 133 OPS+. In 2011, he went on a 30-game hitting streak—with one out franchise record that I put Willie Davis In 1969 – that started in the third game of the season. 379 / .442 / .532 by the end of the streak, but his power was quickly eroded by problems with his right knee. After a terrible stint breaking into the All-Stars in late August (.224/.316/.284 with one homer in 152 PA), Ethier openly suggested that the Dodgers were pushing him to play through his knee problems, which is an allegation Don Mattingly and Coletti both demurred, with the latter alert He was using it as a cover for his depression. In early September, he was closed up and underwent surgery to remove loose bodies in his right knee; He finished the year with 11 homers and 121 OPS+.

Between those late fades, sub-par defense (including -14 DRS in 2010) and baserunning (-5 home runs in 2011), Ethier totaled just 4.0 WAR in his two All-Star seasons, the only two of his career. He took home a Gold Glove in 2011, when his defensive metrics were at least on the rise (1 DRS, 5.9 UZR, last of -16.9 in 2010). This trend continued more or less in 2012 and 2013, as he not only maintained a similar level of offensive production—hitting a combined .278/.355/.443 (122 OPS+)—but offered adequate defense in center field in place of Kemp. in the final season. In June 2012, he and the Dodgers agreed to a five-year, $85 million extension with an option for a sixth year (2018) — the first major outlay for players by Guggenheim Baseball Management, which closed on May 1 the purchase of the Dodgers from Frank McCourt, who led the franchise. to bankruptcy. Ethier totaled 6.4 WAR in 2012-13, his best consecutive showing.

All of this made the 32-year-old’s crash on the floor in 2014 even more controversial. While he played 56 of his 79 starts at center field, his defense deteriorated, and he only reached a total of 130 games in strikeouts 40 times. In all, he only managed four, 97 OPS+ and zero WAR. Fortunately for the Dodgers, he had one last strong season in it, hitting .294/.366/.486 (127 OPS+) with 14 homers at 445 PA in 2015, helping the team to its third straight NL West title. . That would reach his eighth in a row, surpassing his career.

In fact, Ethier didn’t have much of a baseball game, and neither he nor the Dodgers knew it at the time. During spring training in 2016, he fouled a pitch from his right leg, fracturing his tibia. The Dodgers initially expected him to miss 10 to 14 weeks, but he didn’t make his season debut until September 10, and racked up a total of only 26 PA. The Dodgers included him in the postseason but he was limited to his hitting duties. He went 2-for-6 with a walk and a solo homer, and hit the Cubs John Lister In an NLCS editorial.

The spring of 2017 caused another long break, as an MRI showed that Ether had a mild herniated disc. He didn’t make his debut until the rosters expanded on September 1, making just eight starts and a total of 38 PA. He has started in the outfield twice in the NLCS, most notably hosting and holding off the Cubs Kyle Hendricks In Game 3, he went 2-for-5 off the bench in the World Series against the Astros. in Game 7, with the Dodgers trailing 5-0 afterward Yo Darwish She chased and spent Kershaw, giving Ethier a glimmer of hope by picking off Charlie Morton to bring in the Dodgers first run, but they were unable to add another. The Astros won, though their victory was ultimately tainted by revelations that their illegal signs had been stolen.

Many of those 2017 Dodgers were on the list three years later when the team finally won its first championship since 1988, but not Ethier. After the World Series, the Dodgers declined his $17.5 million option and he became a free agent. Although he was planning to play in 2018, he could not find a suitable match for him. In July of that year, he officially announced his retirement. The Dodgers honored him in pregame ceremonies on August 3 of that year. The team’s subsequent success prompted him to do so eighth On the list of postseason games played, but for many fans of the franchise, it will provide a fond reminder of the era when the good times returned to Chavez Raven.

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