- Wednesday, October 10, 2012 7:21 AM
- Written By: Dodgers Diaries
The Dodgers today announced the Andre Ethier was named a finalist for the 2012 Hank Aaron Award, given to the outstanding hitter in each league. Matt Kemp won the award in 2011.
At first glance, the news is a shocker. Ethier, with his .284 average (and even more pitiful .222 vs. lefties) paltry 20 homers is a finalist for this coveted award? It's not until you read down a few paragraphs that you learn every team gets to submit a finalist. Even the Astros. So Jose Altuve, come on down. You are the least worst player on the Astros!
Ethier was no Jose Altuve, although the 22-year-old second baseman did compile a slightly higher average (.290). But to realize Ethier was the best hitter on the 2012 Dodgers is to understand why the team failed to make the playoffs. When Matt Kemp got hurt, the Dodgers fielded a middle-of-the-lineup that often featured hitters nomore imposing than Ethier, Jerry Hairston and Bobby Abreu. In that regard, Ethier was the least worst Dodger of the first half of 2012.
I suspect the competition for best Dodger hitter of 2013 will be a little more interesting with full seasons from Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez. It’s too bad the 2012 team didn’t get them in time for them to make more of a difference.
-- JOHN ROSENTHAL