Very few hitters have benefited from having another player around him as much as Andre Ethier has benefited from having Manny Ramirez.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
As long as Manny Ramirez remains in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup, it appears that outfielder Andre Ethier will continue to hit the ball.
It's not often that you can see such a direct correlation between players. Quarterback Donovan McNabb had his best statistical season the year Terrell Owens arrived in Philadelphia (2004). And we saw Mark Teixeira go on a tear when Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup following his hip injury.
But very few hitters have benefited from having another player around him as much as Andre Ethier has benefited from having Manny Ramirez hitting behind him since mid-2008.
Over the past two seasons, Ethier has batted .256 without Manny in the lineup and .337 when the former Red Sox slugger is protecting him.
The evidence is even more obvious when looking at OPS. Before Ramirez arrived in 2008, Ethier had an OPS of 0.779. After Manny, it was 1.079. In 2009 when Ramirez was suspended, Ethier's numbers took a hit. Ethier's OPS was 0.995 until May 6th, the day Ramirez was suspended, he had an OPS of 0.730 for the 50 games Ramirez was out of the lineup and since Manny returned on July 3rd, his OPS jumped back to 0.978.
In preseason, Ethier's Average Draft Position (ADP) was 119 - the 34th outfielder selected. Currently he's ranked about 45th and the 14th-best outfielder.
It's interesting to note that Ethier is owned in 85% of all leagues. What are the other 15% of the leagues thinking?