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Andruw Jones


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A Little Something About Andruw Jones


A man known for his excellent defense and decent bat (always waiting for that ?break-out season?) might be one of the most overlooked players in the sport when it comes down to one thing: coming out of nowhere and doing something amazing. I?m not a major fan of Andruw Jones, because his OPS and OBP are not incredibly high, but after playing only 8 years in the major leagues, Andruw has added up some amazing counting statistics?The question is, will he ever approach Hank Aaron territory if he avoid sudden injuries?




In 8 seasons at the age of 26, Andruw accumulated 675 career RBIs, 221 Homers, and 1,105 hits. This season, he?s on pace (as of June 5th, 2004 if he plays 160 games this season) to hit about 95 RBIs, 36 homers, and 145 hits. I suspect his hit total will climb by end season, because of the fact that .023 points below his career average.




Andruw has been hitting about the same every year since 1998, if we ignore his down year in 2001 (where he still accumulated 104 RBIs, 34 homers, and 157 hits.) He?s still young, being only 27 this year, and can conceivably put up such numbers until he is about 31. After this, his career should hit a downward spiral, typical of most ballplayers as they advance in age. Will Andruw?s numbers jump some time at this point? Probably. Let?s assume that Andruw?s seasons from the last 6 years (including projected stats for this year) will be typical of the next 4 seasons after this one. After 13 seasons, Andruw?s counting statistics would look like this:




Averaging 99 RBIs a year, 33 homers a year, and 165 hits a year, his career totals would be 1166 RBIs, 389 homers, and 1910 hits by the age of 31!




Sure, great things can happen. He could break out as soon as next year and average 40 or so homers a year until the age 32. He can finish his career strong like Hank Aaron and just keep hitting. In fact, Andruw hit 2 more homers by the age 26 than Hank. Players that are so good at such a young age can have almost endless possibilities. In my honest opinion, Andruw Jones will probably hit 500 homers and with his defense will definitely make it in the Hall of Fame. At the very best, Andruw can finally break out and just not stop like Hank Aaron and trump even some of his numbers. At the very worst, Adruw?s lousy OBP and plate approach will get the best of his as he gets older and his speed slows (like Nomar Garciaparra) or he can get hit with injury like Juan Gonzalez, who?s career was incredibly promising as one of the best of all time until injury hit him big in the 2002 and 2003 seasons.




So if Andruw does some amazing things, do not be very surprised, with what he has done so far it is certainly possible. If he does not, that would not be very surprising either, because chasing Aaron is a close to impossible task. If anything, this analysis shows just how amazing Hank Aaron had to be to keep the momentum of his 20s until he was 40. The question is whether or not Andruw can possibly ever do that...and that begs the question that if only that were possible for anyone else, would they be able to approach Hank too?



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