Andre Ethier is a very solid hitter, who in 2013 will be batting sixth after names such as Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez. Not too shabby right? While the RBI opportunities might be abundant, Ethier still hasn’t been able to shake one major flaw in his game; his inability to hit left-handed pitching.
Over his 7-year career Ethier has compiled a .238/.296/.352 slash with a 21.4 K% and 6.2 BB% in 1111 PAs against lefties (.311/.387/.526, 15.3 K%, 10.8 BB% vs. right-handed pitching). Last year, he was actually moved near the bottom of the order against left-handers to limit his exposure, but thanks to Mike Petriello at FanGraphs we know that Ethier faced a higher percentage of left-handed pitching in 2012 than any other year; this suggests that opposing managers are starting to really expose this weakness.
I don’t see this problem being corrected after 7 years of struggles so you just have to know what you’re getting into before drafting him.
At a Glance
Strengths: RBI, BB, OBP,
Neutral: R, HR, K, BA, SLG, OPS
Best-case scenario: Matt Holliday (STL)
Likely scenario: Billy Butler (KC), Nick Swisher (CLE), Allen Craig (STL)
Worst-case scenario: Nick Markakis (BAL)
Andre Ethier 2013 Fantasy Projection
Ethier has always hit for a decent average (career .290), but all of his production comes before June. If you look at his career splits, especially in the last 3 years, Ethier has a .340 batting average with 25 HR and 108 RBI in April and May; from June through September Ethier has a .265 average with 29 HR and 125 RBI.
If you want to break it down, 46.3% of his home run production and 46.4% of his RBI production over the last there seasons has come in the first two months (i.e. 33% of the season). Those are pretty remarkable splits and if you can draft Ethier at a discounted price and then flip him in May for a top-60 player you will make out pretty well for yourself.