Andruw Jones

Okay, he’s not Willie Mays. But let’s all get a little perspective here. This is a Gold Glove centerfielder, about to turn all of 27 years old, who hits 35 homers a year like clockwork (actual numbers each of the last four seasons: 36, 34, 35, 36) and whose other peripherals are okay — not great, but okay. It would be nice if one year he put all of the rest of his game together and hit .303 (like in 2000) with 83 walks (like in 2002) and stole 27 bases in 31 attempts (like in 1998), but appreciate what you have. And maybe he will have that monster year this year.

I see little evidence that he’s slowing down defensively, but he definitely has on the basepaths. He only attempted seven stolen bases last year, and was caught three times; he grounded into 18 double plays, a career high… I should point out that his most-similar hitter is still Ruben Sierra (as it has been since he was 21) and Sierra fell off a cliff at 27. Or “27” — I think that was a baseball age. And he isn’t really comparable to Sierra anymore — a 900 simscore… Now sixth on the franchise home run list with 221, and barring injury or total collapse will pass Joe Adcock for fifth sometime this year. Will also move into the top ten in RBI and possibly in doubles.

Andruw Jones Statistics –

4 thoughts on “Andruw Jones”

  1. No, he’s better than Willie Mays. Defensively, that is. Bill James just had to shake his head at Andruw’s defensive WS. I hope he never leaves.

  2. The player I always like to compare to Andruw to is Cesar Cedeno, who was similarly compared to Mays at a young age, then faded at around age 27. Although some have attributed Cedeno’s collapse to the mysterious death of his girlfriend one offseason, Cedeno had a major injury at about that time (a broken ankle, I think) that robbed him of most of his speed.

    Andruw, though, has no such “excuses,” although it seems that he’s gained weight in the wrong places the last few years. Still, what he gives the Braves (an. 850 OPS, good-to-excellent defense and remarkable durability) is better than all but two or three major league center fielders.

    Mike Cameron may be a better fielder and Jim Edmonds, when healthy, a better all-around player, but Andruw possesses the total package the others don’t have.

  3. The sister of a Braves newsgroup poster (how’s that for friend of a friend sourcing!) is at spring training, and has reported that Andruw looks to have dropped a fair bit of weight this year. Let’s hope.

    As for his play – Andruw consistently has about 3-4 months every year of dominance – walks plus power plus average – and two months of utter crapola. If he could ever wrap it all together and not lose it in June/July (which is when he usually starts to plummet), he’d be a hell of a player. That’s the frustration of Andruw – he tantalizes with patience, then goes on a Vinnytastic hacking binge.

    Notes on Andruw’s peaks:
    –In 2003, peaked at a 955 OPS (305/373/582) June 13
    –In 2002, peaked at 978 OPS (300/399/579) on June 8; was at 974 as late as June 15
    –In 2001 (the Gold Club trial year), had 893 OPS in April, 861 OPS in May, dropped to 783 in June, 621 in July, 646 un August, before rebounding to 877 in September.

    For his carer, he has April-June OPS of 848, 891 and 897; from July to September it’s 764, 805, 833.

    So, in short, the due can have all the skills to be at the next level of play; he can sustain them for months at a time; but he just really swoons in the summer. Whether he needs more rest or not is open to debate – maybe he gets worn down – but I just think he loses concentration on qhat his game plan should be.

    All of which is why I both and love to hate to watch andruw

  4. I don’t like all this comparing Andruw to guys who started out great and fell off at age 27! :)

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t say, he is his own guy, and probably the odds are better that he continues hitting .270-35-110 and being a defensive whiz and all-star for the better part of the next decade.

    And of course, I’m hoping, as I do every spring, that this is his year to finally put everything together. I hope he and chipper benefit from moving up in the order and remind all these pundits and columnists predicting the Braves’ demise that THEY are the real offensive centerpieces to this team, and that Sheffield was only around for 2 years of this amazing run anyway.

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