Today, we continue our My Boy series with a post from the Mr. half of Texas Baseball Blog, focused on senior shortstop Jordan Etier, who is currently batting .305 in his first season as a switch hitter.
Jordan Etier has had a roller coaster career at Texas, with the lowest low coming in this past off season when he was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and evading arrest by the Texas Department of Public Safety. It was not a good way to finish off 2011, the year in which he hit for a .237 batting average with only two home runs, and he was subsequently kicked off the team. At that point, Etier could have gone in any direction, including transferring to another school, but he decided to stick with the University of Texas and continue his academic pursuits. This went a long way toward convincing the administration that he was not only committed to the school, but also to improving on a personal level. A few weeks before the start of the 2012 season, after all charges were dropped, Jordan was reinstated and advised that he would need to serve a four game suspension before he could play again. From the start, he was eager to make the most of his second chance.
Mr. Etier, for all his faults in the batter’s box, had been a tremendous second baseman for the Longhorns, turning the best double play in college baseball with fellow middle infielder Brandon Loy and sporting a .980 fielding percentage over the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Unfortunately (for Texas fans), Mr. Loy would go on to be drafted by the Detroit Tigers leaving the shortstop position open. After the suspension, Jordan again struggled at the plate, but successfully made the switch over to shortstop from second base to help shore up a young infield occupied by two sophomores at third and first base, and a freshman at second base. As he once again flashed the leather, Jordan also provided a voice of leadership as a senior and was the reassuring voice as the defense broke from their customary first base huddle before every half inning. The contributors here at Texas Baseball Blog felt it was only a matter of time before his bat would finally come alive, as he had shown during at points during the regular season and during the Super Regionals where he extended a late inning lead against Arizona State. Sure enough, the last few weeks have seen a transformation from the sure-gloved shortstop.
Etier has been hitting .361 since the game two win over Loyola Marymount bringing his overall average to .305. Obviously, Jordan is seeing the ball much better as he has nearly matched his 2011 walk total (14) with 10 so far this year, even after changing his approach at the plate by batting from both sides, primarily from the left. His clutch hits mixed in with his fantastic defense and leadership have helped get this youthful team rolling with nine wins out of the last ten games. The selflessness displayed by Jordan demonstrates a maturity and strength that will do wonders for the young players in the days ahead and during the seasons long after Etier has left. Given his performance so far, and Jordan’s realization of the magnitude of the opportunity he has been given, I look forward to seeing the rest of Jordan Etier’s Redemption Tour 2012.
Photo: Donald Boyles