Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 11, 2008
BASEBALL: Tale of Two Joneses

Even knowing this, seeing it in print is amazing: over the past 365 days, Chipper Jones is batting .379/.465/.628. And at the far end of the scale is his old teammate Andruw, batting .207/.292/.363. You'd never know that Chipper's the one who is 36, and Andruw 31.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:21 PM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

Chipper tried telling AJ repeatedly: your goal is 100 walks for the season. Everything else will fall into place. Andruw never caught on, never took the time to learn selectivity at the plate. The results speak for themselves.

Posted by: tsmonk at June 12, 2008 11:17 AM

I do not like the Braves but I've always been a fan of Chipper.

I think Chipper is actually one of the more underrated stars playing today. Right now, his career OPS+ is 145. Schmidt's is 147, Brett's is 135, and Mathews is 143. Unless you are talking with an Oriole fan, Schmidt, Brett, and Mathews are almost univerally regarded as the three greatest 3B of all time. According to OPS+, Chipper is right there with them. (I know that OPS+ is not the best way to judge players, but I think it does a decent job.)

Now, Chipper played a few years in LF. He hasn't had his decline phase of his career yet. His defensive abilities might not be as highly thought of as those of Schmidt and Brett. But, I never heard that he's a bad defensive 3B. And I've never heard any steroid allegations surrounding him.

I just wonder if Chipper might be a top-5 all-time player at his position and he's doing it right under our noses.

Posted by: Alex at June 12, 2008 1:47 PM

Alex - I considered that question seven years ago, but thought at the time it was too early to call. I should revisit it soon.

Posted by: The Crank at June 12, 2008 1:53 PM

Well considering the way Jones exploded on the league at such a young age and now his inexplicable decline, I think it's reasonable to assume that Andruw really isn't 31.

Posted by: Tom at June 12, 2008 4:02 PM

Good stuff. I think Mathews' rep has improved somewhat in the last seven years, but he is still underappreciated.

I somehow forgot about Home Run Baker. He's easily right there with Brett, Schmidt, and Matthews, and, perhaps, Jones as a top 5.

Posted by: Alex at June 12, 2008 4:02 PM

Tom, that's a strong possibility. The Yanks voided a Cuban contract on this issue, would be fun to see a club brawl with the union over the same.

Posted by: abe at June 13, 2008 8:51 AM

One Jones stays in shape and keeps honing his skills and one doesn't. Even if AJ is a few years older than his stated age, he shouldn't be losing it this quickly. He either has some major undiagnosed injury or he's not taking care of himself.

Posted by: geb4000 at June 13, 2008 11:56 AM

When the news came out about Tejada being older than previously publicly announced someone wrote an article on baseball prospectus about the change in his projections. Basically, they didn't change much. The reason was that the risk of career ending collapse is higher for a player going into his 30/31/32 year old season than for a player who has already made it through those years without collapsing.

AJ didn't make the adjustments in approach he needed to. I don't see any reason to conclude that he's not just a 31 year old who lost enough bat speed or reaction time that he's now unable to hit MLB pitching.

Posted by: Steve Johnson at June 13, 2008 9:27 PM
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