Baseball is right around the corner and in two weeks time the Astros will have everyone in Spring Training. Pitchers, catcher and position players. Among the many new faces that will be seen in Kissimmee this year is Dexter Fowler's.
Acquired, with a player to be named later (still not named), for Brandon Barnes and Jordan Lyles, Fowler has many redeeming qualities both on the field and off the field. Some of which you know about; some you might not. With that in mind I went back through the 2013 (one from 2012) season in search of Fowler highlights. Needless to say (going to say it anyways) I found quite a few.
Dexter Fowler the diver
Fowler has played nearly every inning in center field at the major league level. And rightfully so with catches like these.
Both defensive runs saved (DRS) and ultimate zone rating (UZR) rate Fowler as below average defensively; However, theirs a thought that Coors Field may have a negative effect on outfielders who play a majority of their games there. I addressed the issue back in December with this article.
Dexter Fowler the Daddy Long Legs
According to Baseball Reference, Fowler's nickname is Daddy Long Legs. I'm not quite sure where the nickname came from, but it might be a metaphor for his range:
Most of the highlights I came across for Fowler displayed him going a long way to catch the ball. Which begged the question: Does Fowler have range, good positioning or a little bit of both? To answer that question I went to Purple Row's Greg Stanwood and he indicated to me that Fowler was a bit tricky to evaluate. His range is above average due to his speed, but he has slow acceleration. He's not going to go diving into walls, which is probably a good thing.
As for his positioning, Greg indicated that it was relatively poor, due to playing a shallow center field. He wasn't sure if that was Fowler's decision or the coaches. This season should give us a better grasp on what Fowler can provide defensively going forward. The number of highlights are a positive indicator.
Dexter Fowler the home run snatcher
One more defensive highlight displaying his range, but also his ability ti save runs. This was easily Fowler's defensive highlight of the year. On May 1, 2013, Fowler robbed Adrian Gonzalez of a home run:
Dexter Fowler the home run hitter
Okay home run hitter is a bit of a stretch with a .145 isolate power (ISO) and only 12 home runs, however, in relation to the Astros he would have been fifth (fourth with a 300 PA min) on the team in 2013.
From the left side
From the right side
What's that you want to see one out of Coors Field?
The last GIF was on Opening Day last year. I want you to take a real hard look at it and see if you notice anything before moving on.
Dexter Fowler the clutch
That's right, I write for a sabermetric inclined site and I'm not scared to invoke the term clutch and it's warranted. On top of the GIF featured above, last year Fowler had a clutch score, per FanGraphs, of .91. Over his career he has a 1.99 clutch. If win probability added (WPA) is your thing then you'll be happy to note that he had a 2.13 WPA in 2013 and a 4.97 WPA for his career. If you want rates by situation (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage), for his career:
2 outs, runner in scoring position (RISP): .272/.387/.412
Late and Close: .286/.382/.422
High Leverage: .320/.425/.443
7-9 innings: .291/.383/.452
9th inning: .278/.354/.489
Extra innings: .361/.467/.528
Note the innings, outs and score
Just missed a home run!
This is his four-hit game, June 9, 2013. He helped tie the game in the ninth and then won it for the Rockies in the 10th
Dexter Fowler the bat flip
What's a little clutchness and a little power without an awesome bat flip.
This occurred in 2012 against the Mets and was part of an 11-run fifth inning.
Lets rewind that and watch it again!
Dexter Folwer the person
Fowler was a fan favorite in Colorado and I know a lot of fans are sad to see him go. But their loss is our gain and within moments of news breaking that Fowler had been traded he switched his Twitter profile to include Astros colors. He's involved in the community, engaging on Twitter and he's got a fantastic smile. I can see why Rockies' fans were sad to see him go:
(Tacos not included)
BONUS: Dexter Fowler the TV Star