Jaffe: Andruw Jones’ Hall of Fame case by JAWS

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs on December 5, 2018:

It happened so quickly. Freshly anointed the game’s top prospect by Baseball America in the spring of 1996, the soon-to-be-19-year-old Andruw Jones was sent to play for the Durham Bulls, the Braves’ Hi-A affiliate. By mid-August, he blazed through the Carolina League, the Double-A Southern League, and the Triple-A International League, and debuted for the defending world champion Braves. By October 20, with just 31 regular season games under his belt, he was a household name, not only the youngest player ever to homer in a World Series game — breaking Mickey Mantle’s record — but doing so twice at Yankee Stadium.

Jones was no flash in the pan. The Braves didn’t win the 1996 World Series, and he didn’t win the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year award, but along with Chipper Jones (no relation) and the big three of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz, he became a pillar of a franchise that won a remarkable 14 NL East titles from 1991-2005 (all but the 1994 strike season). From 1998-2007, Jones won 10 straight Gold Gloves, more than any center fielder except Willie Mays.

By the end of 2006, Jones had tallied 342 homers and 1,556 hits. He looked bound for a berth in Cooperstown, but after a subpar final season in Atlanta and a departure for Los Angeles in free agency, he fell apart so completely that the Dodgers bought out his contract, a rarity in baseball.

Read the full article here: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jaws-and-the-2019-hall-of-fame-ballot-andruw-jones/

Originally published: December 6, 2018. Last Updated: December 6, 2018.