Left Behind 4: Brian Jordan

Bledsoe again…

Brian Jordan.jpgRighthanded hitting, Righthanded Throwing Outfielder
Seasons with Braves 1999-2001, 2005-6
Career Stats with Braves: .274/.331/.442, 71 HR, 323 RBI, 289 RS

Mac says that Jordan was one of his last cuts. That was a mistake.

Jordan clearly is one of the best 44 Atlanta Braves, just on pure statistics. Decent BA, very good secondary average, good power/speed, and one of the premier defensive right fielders of his era. He is well above league average in virtually every fielding category. For instance, League Range Factor for RF in 2001 was 1.73; Brian’s was 2.29. He threw himself at line drives like, I don’t know, like he was a defensive back trying to break up a pass or something. With Andruw and Jordan in the outfield together, the gap was simply nonexistent in right-center.

Most of his offensive stats come from three topnotch years from 1999 to 2001, in which period he averaged 22 HR and 98 RBI. He made the 1999 All-star Team as a Brave.

There’s little doubt in my mind that Jordan’s contributions to the Braves are significantly greater than Claudell, Lonnie, Jeff or Gary’s. Is Jordan a better Brave than they are? Of course. Did he play on better teams? Of course. Is he a better defender than any of them? Of course.

Mac is just mad because he’s taking up a roster spot when he should be picking out a nice cozy ice floe somewhere in the Aleutians.

Extra commentary from Mac: Actually, the reason behind Jordan being cut is simple: he has been a below-average hitter as a Brave, and I didn’t include below-average hitters unless they played a premium defensive position. He’s actually in a bit of a Catch-22. In 1999-2001 he was a little above average overall, comparable to Claudell as a hitter, behind Lonnie and Burroughs. However, that “career” is significantly shorter than theirs. If you include 2005-06, his career is of similar length, but he’s no longer above-average.

Additionally, all three of that group — Smith and Burroughs in particular — had positive OBP rates, while Jordan’s OBP has been above the league only once in his Braves career, and that by only three points.

You may notice that this entry has one of Tom Priddy’s pictures instead of a baseball card. This is because I can’t find a Brian Jordan baseball card from his time with the Braves.

Brian Jordan Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

10 thoughts on “Left Behind 4: Brian Jordan”

  1. Brian Jordan really does not belong in the top 44. He’s clearly less deserving than the Matthews-Burroughs-Smith-Washington quartet. The bad taste left in my mouth from the past two years doesn’t help his cause.

  2. It’s hard to say really, it depends how you weight corner outfield defense. Jordan was a top notch outfielder with good range and instincts. 150 games of Jordan in the OF vs 150 games of Lonnie in the OF would save the team a bunch of runs. The question is how many and would it make up the offensive difference between the two.

    I suspect it would but it’s hard to put numbers to that argument.

    Win Shares for Jordan 1999-2001: 55
    Win Shares for Lonnie 1989-1991: 55

    It’s pretty close, but it’s not outragous or something that Jordan didn’t make the cut.

  3. Why in the world did the Yankees pick up Sheffield’s option? How man outfielders or people-who-can-hit -but-can’t-play-first do they need? Are they crazy?

  4. By picking up his option, they can now trade him to a team other than the Red Sox or Mets, who would have been likely suitors had he been granted free agency. That’s one school of thought, really the only one that makes sense.

  5. It’s kindof dangerous to sign a guy you want to get rid of just so your opponent can’t get him. What if nobody wants him for $13 million and the Yankees are stuck with him?

  6. The thing is the Yankees have enough resources to hold on to 13 million dollar backups. In doing so, they have a reserve for when one of their old guys breaks something and at the same time they get to enjoy the fact that the Red Sox can’t have him. As an added bonus, picking up the option on Sheff probably won’t make Sheff happy, especially if Torre tells him to grab some pine. And I can’t imagine that there are not too many baseball people in the world that wouldn’t smirk a little at pissing Sheff off–though personally I’d rather smirk at putting either Todd Pratt or the bullpen, prior to Wickman’s arrival, on the dl with a failure to do anything meaningful with the oxygen that he/they took in.

  7. Well, I think Sheffield will be happy about them picking up his option. Why wouldn’t he? If you really thought he would be unhappy, you’d be crazy to do it because an unhappy Sheff is poison.

    I think people are too hard on Jordan. I agree he shouldn’t be taking up a roster spot, but let’s not forget what he did for the team. He did get a lot of key hits in 1999 and I doubt the Braves would have made the World Series without him. That should count for something, regardless of his overall stats. It’s not like th e Braves have been overwhelmed with great rightfielders (with one obvious exception).

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