#8 Andruw Jones

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Andruw Jones.gifRighthanded Hitting, Righthanded Throwing Centerfielder
Seasons With Braves: 1996-2006
Stats With Braves: .267/.345/.505, 342 HR, 1023 RBI, 962 RS

Andruw was the second-easiest player to rate. I never seriously considered ranking him ahead of anyone in front of him, and I never seriously considered ranking him behind anyone behind him.

Andruw was signed in 1993, at the age of 16, though he isn’t listed as playing until the next season, when he started slow in the Gulf Coast League, then broke out in Danville. In 1995, he established himself as one of the two top prospects in the game (with Vlad Guerrero) with a breakout season in Macon, winning the Sally League MVP. In 1996, he started in Durham and beat the Carolina League to a pulp for 66 games. They put him in Greenville, and he did the same thing to the Southern League for 33. Then it was Richmond, where he hit .378.391/.822 in 12 games and basically forced his way onto the major league roster, even though there wasn’t really a spot for him. He wasn’t a dominant player in the majors, hitting only .217, but his power and defense made him valuable right away, and then he hit two homers in the World Series.

Andruw played mostly right field in 1997, even though he was obviously a better centerfielder than Kenny Lofton. He hit only .231/.329/.416 and there was a feeling he had been rushed, which is probably true, but how are you going to keep them on the farm? Anyway, he was still fifth in the Rookie of the Year balloting, and I wonder where he would have ranked if he’d played center full-time.

He started doing that in 1998; he also began what has been the rule for his career: frustrating offensive inconsistency during the season combined with astonishing season-to-season consistency, plus gold glove defense and almost never leaving the lineup. He won the Gold Glove that year, as in every year since. He hit .271/.321/.515 with 31 homers; while the OBP was on the low side, the batting average and slugging percentage were just about at his norms, and from 1998 to 2004 he hit between 26 and 36 homers every year.

The 26 was in 1999, his low for a full season, but he walked a bit more for a .275/.365/.483 line and played in every game and put up an astonishing range factor of 3.13 — in other words, he was averaging over three putouts a game. In 2000 he had a batting average spike (.303/.366/.541) which fooled people into thinking that he might be a .300 hitter from then on. He made his first All-Star team.

2001 was really his only bad season (.251/.312/.461) and his OPS+ was only 96, but he was still a valuable player with his defense, and it was mostly a fluke, though he did strike out a bit more. From 2002-2004 there’s really little variation; batting averages in the .260-.275 range, homers, some walks, defense.

In spring of 2005 (with help from Willie Mays) Andruw tinkered with his batting stance. It looked great in spring training, but he got off to a terrible start. He picked it up in May, then went nuts in June, hitting 13 homers. Just when it looked like he’d slacked off, he came back and hit 11 more in August. At the end of the season, he stood with a team record 51 homers and an Atlanta record 128 RBI. He finished second in the MVP voting, becoming the first National Leaguer to lead the league in homers and RBI and not win the MVP.

His 2006 wasn’t quite as impressive, but 41 homers is still awfully good, and he broke his own record with 129 RBI. As I write this, the NL Gold Gloves have not yet been announced, but it would be shocking if he didn’t win again. JC would probably like me to mention that Andruw has in both of the last two seasons seemed to be unlucky and probably “should” be hitting 20 or 30 points higher, in which case he’s even more impressive.

Andruw has 99 points on the Hall of Fame Monitor; 100 is supposed to mean likely selection, but the offensive standards have changed, and probably 125, or even 150, would be a better guide now. Despite the fact that he isn’t Willie Mays and yet was held to a Willie Mays standard for most of his career, I expect Andruw will eventually get into the Hall. Perennial Gold Glove centerfielders with 342 career homers at age 29 don’t grow on trees. My back-of-the-envelope projection is for 532 career homers, and that is probably too low; I’d be surprised if he doesn’t at least approach 600, and 700 is actually fairly likely. 3000 hits isn’t out of the question either, though he’d probably have to play until he’s 40 and would have one of the lowest career batting averages of any 3000-hit man. Helps to come up at 19.

Andruw Jones Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

71 thoughts on “#8 Andruw Jones”

  1. Andruw will certainly be an HOF and I hope that he will always be in a Brave uniform.

    Andruw first appeared in 1996–before and during the fateful series with the Yanks. The Braves should have won and Andruw was supposed to make us forget Willie Mays. That is, Andruw, with is vast potential, representated the Braves that should have been. I cannot help but think that it is one of the reason why so many Braves fans have grumbled about Jones (especially before 2005).

    Realistically, he has been a great player and there is no way that the Braves could ever get enough in a trade. The only problem is that he has the wrong agent…

  2. I don’t think the average Braves fan or average baseballl fans realizes just how good a defensive center fielder Andruw is. Statistically, he is quite simply, far and away, the best to ever play the position. It’s not even close.

    Definitely will make the Hall. They can’t keep him out.

  3. bledsoe ~ I am not sure I agree with your statement that Andruw is by far the best defensive CF of all time. Several things: 1. He is slowing down at a much younger age than do most of the great defensive CFs — from Speaker to DiMaggio to Mays to Ashburn to Gary Pettis — none had the heavy legs that Andruw developed in his late 20s except Mays who didn’t until his late 30s. For independent support, look at his stolen bases per year. 2. Balls in play distribution for the Braves has been very consistent and somewhat unusual — I expect Mac to note this mentioning the defense of Chipper, but the Braves pitching tended to cause the balls to be hit to the middle of the diamond. Defensive Win Shares (the only metric that really agrees with your view) doesn’t address that concern. 3. Andruw takes more of the discretionary plays than do most CFs — see the work of Mike Emeigh and Chris Dial at BaseballPrimer. Processed ZR data suggests that in 2006 Jones was slightly below average for MLB CFs. Watching now versus watching in 1998 or comparing the 2002-2006 version of Jones to Lofton or Nixon suggests to me that is correct.

    Anyway, none of this means that Andruw isn’t on a Hall of Fame path or wasn’t, for a while, an all-time great fielder. But as his power (and his weight) has climbed his defense has slipped to mere mortal.

  4. A gold glove centerfielder who hits 35+ HRs annually does not grow on trees. I don’t care if his defensive skills have declined a bit or his back has been hurting, the man is only 29 years old. The Braves have to resign him.

  5. I agree that there is a decline, and that his career stats will average down. He won’t be playing CF at all in 4-5 years.

    Nonetheless, his brilliance for the first 6-7 years at the position is unprecedented.

  6. I got hooked on baseball in 1952 as an eight-year old. I never saw DiMaggio, but i did see Mays, Mantle, Snider and their successors. Judging defense only, Andruw is the best I’ve ever seen; and I love the joy he exudes in playing the game. As much as I loved Murph, Andruw meant more the braves IMHO.

  7. I got hooked on baseball in 1952 as an eight-year old. I never saw DiMaggio, but i did see Mays, Mantle, Snider and their successors. Judging defense only, Andruw is the best I’ve ever seen; and I love the joy he exudes in playing the game. As much as I loved Murph, Andruw meant more to the braves IMHO.

  8. how does andruw not rank higher than dale? 9 straight gold gloves in the 2nd biggest defensive position in baseball, cornerstone player in a franchise that had won the division every year he had played, only 21 less home runs in 4 less years.

  9. These profiles have been a gift after a long summer. It’s been particularly good to discover an exceptional writer like bledsoe.
    The best thing about them is allowing us to expess our feelings and tell our stories about players. Andruw is a great player to pull for.
    So it’s gratifying to have seen Andruw become someone pitchers dread, to see him put the team on his back in 2005.
    Sey, hey, Andruw? No. But one heck of a ballplayer and at times as good as any that ever played.
    Please let him be a Brave next year!

  10. probably already posted, but these are from MLB daily rumors….

    Boston Herald (scroll down): “The Sox are among the many clubs expected to submit a bid for Matsuzaka or, perhaps, Kei Igawa, a 27-year-old left-hander for the Hanshin Tigers who might also be posted this month. The Atlanta Braves are thought to be among the leading teams for Igawa, who is 75-43 over the last four seasons. The Dodgers, too, are believed to be interested in Igawa’s services, particularly if the bidding for Matsuzaka is as high as everyone expects. ”

    Also, says Salty could be traded to Detroit for Jordan Tata

  11. Everyone take a minute to avoid looking at Andruw’s comps. They’re not strong comps, but it’s really interesting to note how many of them fell off a cliff at their age 30 season. It might be time to sell high as they tried to do before the trade deadline. We can all hope that he doesn’t fall into this trend, but who would want to fork out another 5 year 15+ million contract when the purse strings are so tight?

  12. 2 NL MVPs, the face of the franchise for a decade, and one of the greatest citizens the game has ever known. That’s why Dale is — and should be — ahead of Andruw on this list.

  13. I have a problem with Andruw. He can hit 30+ HR and 100+ RBI. Why is his batting average staying at .260~.270 range?

    He is a Gold Glover this year. No doubt about it. I know he is a good defensive player. But there are lots of CFs in the MLB. I suppose all reporters in the MLB became unlettered persons. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed is king. “mewing”

    Andruw’s contract will be finished in the next year or the Braves can seek out trying to trade him during the season like this one. But can he does deny? He was a long time brave, but don’t wanna push him. That depends on him. That’s the way it goes!!!!!!!!! Like when can’t set back a time. Like when I clicked a mouse unconsciously and realized shamefully the true which was this was not an official braves fan forum site but a personal blog.

    Too late. Every year, since then the Braves is one of my favorites, you know I have been watched the playoffs. I didn’t watch the world series this time because went to Singapore and Batam. Here is an amusing anecdote is told of a baseball commentator. I heard he watched the world series on his honeymoon. Haha.. So unlike his reason, I also tried to watch the cable TV in the hotel room, with much regret, a game has been postponed due to rain. Instead, I went swimming in the resort pool. Next season, I wish the Braves make the playoffs!!!!!!!!!!! Please.

  14. Murphy is ahead because his peak (once you adjust for era) is so much better than Andruw’s, I’d imagine.

  15. Andruw takes a hit for his era as opposed to Murphy’s era. Adjust for era and Murphy comes out ahead. Murphy has a career adjusted ERA+ of 121 to Andruw’s 117, and that includes Murphy’s crash-and-burn for the last few years of his career (Andruw’s doesn’t include his decline phase).

    Andruw is one of both my favorite and least favorite Braves. He can be a joy to watch, but the Bad Andruw stretches can be utterly painful. The last few years those have finally started to become shorter and less predictable, but for years he’d seem to go into a funk after having a multi-HR game or two that would cause him to hack away all the more.

    Much as I like him, Andruw is one of the least clutch players out there. I don’t necessarily believe guys can “step it up” in tough situations with reliability and consistency, but I do believe in choking. Some career marks for Andruw:

    Career OPS: 850
    Bases empty: 877
    Runners on: 822
    Runners in scoring position: 805
    RISP, 2 outs: 754
    Bases loaded: 733
    Runner on 3rd, less than two out: 794
    Career postseason: 797

    The good news is that almost all of these numbers have improved of late (though he posted a .207 BA and 721 OPS with RISP during his near-MVP season). He hit a combined .500 with 3 HR in the 2004 and 2005 postseasons.

    Overall this ranking seems pretty fair to me. I don’t like his comparables for his long-term prospects, but I suspect he’ll last longer than most statheads might expect. The only question is how long he’ll stay in CF past the point where he should be moved.

  16. Colin, not to be a curmudgeon, but those numbers all look pretty close to me. I’d say they argue for his consistency, not his tendency to choke. Not a single one of those numbers is above .900, and only bases loaded is below .750; the numbers pretty much fluctuate between the .750 to .850 bar.

    I would have ranked him higher, but that’s because I grew up with him; I think Mac is probably more objective than me, but I have to guess that growing up with Murph helped nudge him upwards in Mac’s esteem. You always love the guys you loved when you were younger.

  17. If you’re looking at “similar batters”, of course Andruw’s comps look bad, because that’s comparing him to players’ complete careers. Look at the similar batters through age 29, and it’s led off by Frank Freaking Robinson — who won the MVP at 30. Aaron’s on the list, and he had more good years and more great years than anyone else. Five of Andruw’s top ten are in the Hall, Griffey will be, and Santo should be.

  18. I love Andruw. He’s been awsome defensively and a consistently dangerous bat behind Chipper. That said, I’m very worried about the Braves signing him to an expensive, long-term deal. His defense is becoming mediocre. He’s just not that quick anymore, although he can still get great reads and such. His age is deceptive becuase he’s been playing a full ML schedule since he was like 20. If we can get good prospects for him and use the 15M+ it would take to sign him elsewhere, I think it may be in our best interest to trade him away this offseason, as painful as that may be.

    With that said, I imagine the Braves will do their best to keep him. It’s really up to Boras and how much of a salary hit Andruw is willing to take to stay in Atlanta.

  19. Not that this forum can change this, but what is it with the Braves seeking Kei Igawa? If the recent profile linked here is accurate (good projection as a No. 3 starter) then why do the Braves want him?

    We have, as I see it, a # 1 with a tiredness, injury risk (Smoltz), A # 2, # 3 depending on rehab (Hampton), a # 2, # 3, #4 depending on “can he put it back together” (Hudson), a #3 , #4 (or worse) depending on how much the Good Horacio shows up (Ramirez), a #4, maybe #3 depending on growth (James), and an outside shot at an effective #4, maybe higher in the future, in Davies and Larew. If the Braves go for starting pitching, they either need to go for (1) someone that can come close to #1 or (2) someone young and cheap. The last thing the Braves need is a mediocre Free Agent with big expense. We have major league mediocre in pitching and in the field all through our bench and minor league system.

    That said, in the days Fregosi was senior scout (and I think he is with somebody else now) we picked up some pitching talent that jelled for us that others had discarded (the main one being Jaret Wright). So maybe somebody knows something.

    Speaking of Jaret Wright, interesting that the Yankees’ buyout of Wright is $3 million and the total contract for next year is $7 million and supposedly they are talking about not tendering. Even with the injury problems, isn’t he better than Silva with the Twins (whose option at 4.75 million was picked up)?

  20. I think the Murphy/Andruw argument is fun, but yes, relative to his era, Murphy was better because he was the very best player in the NL for awhile. Save perhaps one year, Andruw can’t really say that.

    In 1997, Andruw hit one of the longest HRs I’ve ever seen in person. It was a stiflingly hot summer night in the old Vet in Philly and the ball flew into the upper deck in CF like it was launched out of a cannon. Sounded like it, too. The second he hit it, I said, “Wow!” Because it sounded like an exploding M-80.

    He also made the greatest catch I’ve ever seen in person—a HR-robbing, over-the-fence jobby in Camden Yards in 2000. Never saw a replay of the thing, but an incredible catch.

    What can you say about Andruw? It’s been a pleasure to watch him. Another guy (like Maddux, like Glavine, etc.) we’ll miss when he’s no longer wearing the ATL uni. Hope he stays. But, if not, we have great memories.

  21. I’m not as convinced as some that Andruw really is a Hall of Fame caliber player, although his defense may put him over the top. His within-season inconsistency is, I think, a real flaw. But there is no doubt he is a very good player and that losing him would be a real blow. And, even if his defense isn’t as good as it once was, it’s still awfully good. However, I can’t see the Braves giving Andruw a huge long-term deal. JC argues that Andruw may well be “worth” close to $20 mm, but worth is all relative. A Mercedes may be worth $65, 000 but it’s not worth it to me because I can’t afford it. With the Braves payroll already being top-heavy and no indication that the payroll will increase, I think it makes no sense to give Andruw a big long-term contract, especially with him heading into his thirties and having a lot of wear and tear. The issue isn’t so much whether he is worth it now, but whether he will be worth it when he is 34 or 35. And I just don’t see Scott Boras giving the Braves any kind of hometown discount. I don’t think they should necessarily trade him unless they fall out of contention next year, but I don’t see any realistic prospect of resigning him unless they can dump one of the other big salaries. In general, I don’t think it’s worth breaking the bank for ANY individual player unless it’s someone like Bonds or a Willie Maysthat really can dominate games. I don’t see Andruw as that type of player.

  22. Andruw is my favorite Brave. He isn’t as good on defense as he once was, but ZR is the only metric that had him below average this year (he was above average in UZR, the fielding bible and i believe PMR as well). i hope he stays with us for a long time.

    no idea why the braves would want igawa. he throws in the high 80s and has mediocre secondary pitches. sounds like a left-handed kyle davies (sorry kyle, but you gotta play a little better buddy!).

  23. To me, the Andruw/Murph debate is not nearly as interesting as the one coming up with Murphy versus Chipper. I’m very interested to see whether Mac ranks Dale above Chipper. I feel like that might be the initial response of a lot of Braves fans. The one speculative list I saw a poster make did have Murph ahead of Chipper. I’m not sure that is right.

    Chipper is a much better hitter than Murphy was. His career OPS+ is 21 points higher than Murphy’s. Obviously that includes Murphy’s decline phase, and doesn’t really include Chipper’s, but even if you look at their peak numbers, Chipper comes out ahead. He has 4 seasons that are roughly as good as or better than Murphy’s best season. If you list their seasonal OPS+ in order from highest to lowest, Chipper leads in every year. Murphy had three full seasons where he was a below-average hitter, while Chipper only has one season where his OPS+ is worse than 115. Obviously, Chipper has a big advantage with the bat.

    That leaves Murph with quite a lot of ground to make defensively, and I’m not sure he can. He obviously has more defensive value than Chipper, but by my count, he only had 7 1/2 seasons in center field, and only about 1/2 of his career games were played in center field. I never saw him play, so I have no real sense of how good he was in center field. I imagine he was pretty good, but I think he would have had to be almost legendary in those 7 1/2 years to erase Chipper offensive edge completely.

    Also, Murphy’s claim as the best National Leaguer for a few years doesn’t help him as much against Chipper, because Chipper did win 1 MVP and I’m not sure it should count against Chipper that he played in a time with Barry Bonds and other very good players. He was the best NL third baseman for a long time, and the best position player on several pennant-winning teams. That should count at least as much as Murphy’s period of league dominance.

    Murphy undoubtedly beats Chipper in the “Moral” or citizenship section, but it’s not like Chipper has really been a bad citizen while with the Braves. He certainly hasn’t detracted from his team’s play because of off-field issues or anything like that, so I’m not sure that should really matter.

    All of this is not to detract from Murphy, because he was clearly one of the greatest Atlanta Braves, a fine human being and ballplayer, and a bright spot when the franchise sorely needed one. I just wanted to make a preemptive case for Chipper as being possibly the greatest Atlanta position player not named Hank Aaron. Sometime I think we fail to appreciate just how good Chipper is and has been, especially because of his recent struggles with injuries. Anyway, this is fairly long-winded, for which I apologize.

  24. I guessed Chipper ahead of Murphy, for the reasons you cite, Maxwn. Maybe it’s antithetical to this series to try to predict the final order in the comments, for the benefit of those who prefer to have Mac’s list wash over them, but I can’t help myself.

    Javy and Justice were the obvious matched pair at 9-10. I’d have reversed them, but Mac’s reasoning is sound. I’ve got Andruw, Smoltz, and Murphy jumbled up at 6-8, and I could see putting them in any order. Chipper goes 5th in my book, then you could argue well into the night on Glavine vs. Niekro at 3-4, then Mad Dog, then Hammer.

  25. Bill James handbook came out recently and lists andruw as having a 22% chance of hitting more than 756 homers and projects him to hit something like 800+. James also says andruw is in the top three to break the RBI mark. Pretty heady guys to be with (A-Rod and Pujols)

  26. Hey Mac, can I do a left behin on Greg Olson? The Catcher…..one of my all time favorite Braves…..

  27. Sansho,
    I pretty much agree with your order, although I think some sort of case could maybe be made for Chipper as high as #3. Most likely he belongs around #5, as the second-best position player in Atlanta History. Depending on how the rest of his career plays out, I think he could either stay right where he is, or move up ahead of everyone except Maddux and Aaron.

  28. I think Glavine should be ahead of Maddux simply based on Game 6 in the ’95 Series. I’m completely unobjective, of course.

  29. I mean, haven’t we all planned to kill John Schuerholz? What’s so unique about that?

    I wonder how Schuerholz felt when he came over to the Braves and found Lonnie there. At least he wasn’t waiting outside his car at 8pm with a revolver…

  30. “I never saw him play, so I have no real sense of how good he was in center field.”

    He was a five-time Golden Glover from 1982 to 1986. From about 1980 to 1987, he was in an elite class with people like Mike Schmidt, Eddie Murray, and maybe Dave Winfield in the argument over who was the best all-around player in the game.

  31. Good point, Kyle. Or, as Graham Chapman once said:

    “Look at arson – I mean, how many of us can honestly say that at one time or another he hasn’t set fire to some great public building. I know I have. The only way to bring the crime figures down is to reduce the number of offences – get it out in the open – I know I have.”

  32. I never planned to kill John Schuerholz, but Alex R. and I once plotted to kidnap Jeff Blauser.

    Lance, go ahead; email me the copy at bravesjournal at gmail.com. I have a list of needed Left Behinds. Most of them are hitters; the only pitcher that really needs covering is Carl Morton.

  33. Andruw is likely a Hall player if he maintains the longevity track. He’ll have a better career than Don Sutton, who got in as a longevity pitcher. Maybe not quite as good as some, and always short of his perceived potential, but someone who’s durable, very good offensively and has his rep for defense will likely go in.

  34. I would place Chipper above Murph only because he has had more great seasons. Murphy’s peak seasons were (period adjusted) probably as good as Chipper’s but there were less of them. He was a great outfielder, but he wasn’t overall as good a hitter as Chipper. But clearly a great player.

  35. Bill James handbook came out recently and lists andruw as having a 22% chance of hitting more than 756 homers and projects him to hit something like 800+. James also says andruw is in the top three to break the RBI mark. Pretty heady guys to be with (A-Rod and Pujols)

    This is why I refuse to get upset about Bonds hitting 756 — in 10-12 years, I believe ARod or Pujols will pass him. Probably not both, but probably one of them. Gotta look at the big picture.

  36. That said, I would like the Braves to sign Barry for a year…
    but then I am guessing I might be in the minority here

    ( I meant barry bonds, not Kevin Barry! )

  37. I think that would show ultimate disrespect to the greatest Brave of all time. Sign Barry for one year to break the record in Atl, I dont think that would ever happen. Or it better not

  38. Well this satisfies my curiosity. I was wondering if Andruw would rate higher than Dale Murphy. I agree with this rating. Adjusting for the eras of offense Murphy was a great player, even if it was a relatively short burst of greatness. Andruw thus far has had many very good seasons and 1 extraordinary season. We have him for one more year for sure. I would love to see the Braves do a 3 or 4 year contract but even in the coming market (respectfully disagreeing with JC) where EVERYONE is going to be over paid I don’t see paying him 18 or 20 per year. Million that is.

  39. If Murph is ranked above Chipper, I am crying foul. I love Murph. Heck, I wore #3 in little league because of him. Just no way, in my mind, Chipper can rank behind him.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how you rank the Big 3. I would almost put Smoltz first, just because of his work as a reliever, and the fact that he is still with the team.

  40. If we erase names, and we are going to lose Andruw, then I won’t be too displeased about sliding Langerhans to center and get a LF who plays average defence, and hits 25 HRs with a 450 OBP.
    And it wouldn’t over-expose Diaz.

  41. Off-topic, but here’s a List O The Day:


    1 Tom Glavine 2698.2
    2 Greg Maddux 2526.2
    3 John Smoltz 2426
    4 Steve Avery 1123.1
    5 Kevin Millwood 1004.1
    6 Denny Neagle 482.1
    7 Kent Mercker 480
    8 Horacio Ramirez 445
    9 Mike Hampton 431.2
    10 Charlie Leibrandt 422.2

    Smoltz passed Maddux last year (I don’t have a new Sabermetric Encyclopedia). Anyway, I think this demonstrates (a) the dominance of the Big Three and (b) why Kevin Millwood winds up the fourth-best pitcher in Atlanta history. I mean, Horacio is now sixth! Hudson will move into the top ten in April.

    There’s another point I want to make, but that would probably spoil some upcoming posts so I’ll wait until then.

  42. Of all those ip by Maddux , only 3 seasons were below Smoltz’s best season as a starter. and out of those 3, one was 144 era+ season ( to Smoltz’s 149 ).
    Their postseason W-L might be different, but other statistics are comparable.
    Maddux pitched too many innings of high quality to be topped by either Glavine or Smoltz.

    I guess we shouldn’t discuss this now. your list just prompted that..

  43. And this seems like as good a place as any, but Maddux got so robbed in 98 in the CY voting. And really, in 97 too, he had atleast as good a case as Pedro

    and why Glavine finished ahead of him in 2000 is a mystery.

  44. Re: #44

    Actually, OPS+ is adjusted for the level of competition in the league at the time, and Chipper’s best seasons are better than Murph’s. Chipper’s best OPS+ is 175. His second best is 162, his third is 157, and his fourth is 155. Murphy’s best season is a 156, followed by a 151, 150, and 149.

  45. I love Andruw, but I just want to point out that he holds the honor of having the worst 50 homer season of all time.

  46. Yeah, it’s not really a bad thing, I just find it interesting. It’s kinda like being the ugliest guy to bang Halle Berry.

  47. We already covered him, didn’t we, Meta?

    I can see the argument for signing Bonds with LF in flux. But I can’t see him being worth a fraction of what it’ll take to sign him since he can’t play defense, can’t stay healthy, and has more baggage than FedEx’s whole fleet can carry. Maybe he can be a DH/ freak show exhibit for a team going nowhere, like Babe Ruth for the Braves in 1935.

  48. Wow, just have to weigh in on Andruw, even if time is now past….

    A mediocre centerfielder…? Even now…? This guy is an amazing outfielder. True, he is not as good as he was seven years ago, but at that point he was arguably one of the best centerfielders to have ever played the game… I remember the long HR to center at Veteran’s Stadium, and also the 3HR game there… Lots more.

    I am getting along in life. Enough so to know that guys like this just do not come along that often. I hope people enjoy what they have seen. I hope like heck he stays a Brave, at whatever cost. To watch the career on an Andruw Jones is why you watch baseball! Remember, Mac is ranking him with perhaps half his career yet to come. The guy loves baseball, loves to play baseball, loves to play baseball, plays hurt, plays everyday, loves to be a Brave. Treasure him!

  49. @67

    I just can’t see retaining Andruw at any cost–unless you enjoy watching Andruw play more than the team win. And, while he is a very good player, he just isn’t THAT good. If it was Pujols or, yes, Bonds, I might see it, but not Andruw Jones. The home run totals are obviously grossly inflated by the rise of offense–it clearly was more impressive for Willie Mays to hit 52 homers in 1965 or Aaron to hit 47 in 1971 (in less than 500 ABs) than for Andruw to hit 51 in 2005. No offense to Andruw, but I really hope he doesn’t hit 700 or 800 home runs. To compare him offensively to Mays and Aaron is a travesty (obviously he does compare defensively). Andruw is a very good player who, if he had played in the 60s or 70s, I think, would have ended up with maybe 400 home runs.

  50. …and the players who hit 400+ home runs in the 60s and 70s were, in my estimation, among the best players I have ever seen…. (unlike, say, Rafael Palmeiro… It hurts to see him way above, say, Al Kaline…)

    It is difficult for me to see Andruw as a player not worth his money. His VORP was quite high this year (again). And, remember, the mapping from rankings and statistics to pay is not linear: There is scarcity at the top, and these types tend to cost more. Count it.

    (By the way, note all the HBPs the last couple of years. With walks, his OBP was very high this year by career standards. He shows all signs of morphing into a very productive player in his early 30s….)

  51. A player I’ve seen Andruw compared to is Sammy Sosa; they aren’t on any of each other’s comp lists (because Andruw was a much better player in his twenties) but I can see it. And Andruw is at just about the age Sosa was when he broke out. Sosa’s first big year was Age 29, and Andruw will be 30, but the difference is really only five months…

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