I stare at Dexter Fowler in search of inspiration. Not at the actual man, of course—that would be awkward and inappropriate—but at his statistical record. What do the numbers say about him? Again, not the actual man, but the player. More specifically, the hitter.
The lanky 26-year-old center fielder is playing his fourth more-or-less full big-league season and, despite a recent slump, enjoying unprecedented success at the plate. After being sent down to Triple-A Colorado Springs for brief “refresher courses” in each of the previous two seasons, Fowler seems to have figured out how to avoid repeat visits.
Fowler was hitting .238/.340/.348 at the time of his last demotion on June 4, 2011. Since returning six weeks later, he has hit .282/.378/.506 in 542 plate appearances through June 24, 2012. Coors Field or not, this is nice production out of a center fielder who is under club control and who should be entering his physical prime.
His batting average seldom veers far from .260 (it was .263 in 2012 when I started this article), he has decent on-base skills, and now he has added hitting the ball with authority to his repertoire. The change in power is dramatic, especially given Fowler's consistency in other areas: