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.