Andre Ethier made headlines with his record breaking April hitting streak that has now carried over into May and has lasted 29 games. The Arizona native with the golden smile has had 2 great Aprils in a row and has looked like one of the best players in baseball during the month. However, after looking like a triple crown threat, Ethier broke his pinkie and wasn't the same. That is until April rolled around again. Ethier is now dealing with a tender elbow and it is conjuring images of last season from June onward.
This begs the question of whether the broken digit was merely a setback and the Ethier we have seen the past 2 Aprils is the true player we can expect when fully healthy, or is he just a hot starter that melts when the weather gets warm?
Personally, I think Ethier is one of the better hitters in the game.
Other than last season's post-pinkie drop off, Ethier has been a fairly consistent hitter month to month. In 2009 his best month came in August and in 2008 he had a fantastic September. There is little evidence to suggest he is simply a hot starter.
His career lne drive percentage stands at 22.2%. That is batting title territory. Sure his .436 BABIP will come down, but the LD% suggests he could finish the year batting .330. He is also one of only a handful of players to have an ISO above .200 each of the past 3 seasons and his career strikeout rate of 18.2% is quite low for a slugger. The low strikeout total also helps keep his AVG up.
So what is your take? Do you have the same optimism as I do when it comes to Ethier, or do you think he will fold like he's applying for a job at The Gap?