I think Andruw will have a tough time making the HOF. If he does, it’ll be based on a decade of stellar play in center. His offensive numbers, placed in the context of the steroid era, leave much to be desired, as well as his complete lack of usefulness past 30.
A few numbers for comparison:
Career BA: .256, .276, .297
Career OBP: .338, .376, .381
Career Slugging: .488, .527, .477
That’s Andruw, Jim Edmonds, and Bernie Williams. Just a couple contemporaries off the top of my head – none of whom screams HOF.
Defense: Edmonds has 8 Gold Gloves, and Williams has 4 to AJ’s 10. Jones was one the most exciting players I’ve ever seen roam an outfield – I’m young with a New Media memory, though. Edmonds was fantastic as well, and played the position admirably for much longer than Jones.
Offense: Despite knocking a good number of dingers, Andruw’s slugging percentage for a middle of the order guy was average and with the exception of his one standout year, he didn’t really drive in runs at an exceptional clip. He never hit for average, didn’t take many walks, and struck out way too often. His career slugging percentage is barely better than Bernie’s, who was really a glorified 2-hitter. Both Edmonds and Williams have a significantly higher OPS, my favorite metric of a hitter’s overall ability along with Ks/BBs for a career. And it’s worth noting that because Williams and Edmonds both have more at bats after the prime of their careers than Jones, their averages are more diluted than Jones’s will be at the end of his career (assuming that his career isn’t already over from fatness).
Durability: Edmonds lost an entire season of his prime to injury, but has been relatively healthy. Williams was a gamer, and while Andruw’s weight was under control, he showed up pretty much everyday. As noted ad nauseum in the thread and my post, AJ’s collapse as even a marginally useful player at age 30 is a major knock.
Context: During the past few years HOF voters just started considering “Steroid Era” players. So far, the iconic players of the era, McGwire, Sosa, et. al., have not been favorably received despite outstanding statistics. I assume Bonds and Clemens will not be either. An argument can easily be made that these guys are being scapegoated, but whatever. I really have no idea how it will shake out for guys like Bagwell – who was never caught but many suspect – and Palmeiro – who was caught but claims he was innocent. But I suspect that the voters will be much less forgiving. It’ll take sustained success, and any major peaks or valleys not easily explained by injury or late career decline will be viewed with suspicion. Guys like Andruw, Javy Lopez, Adrian Beltre, Brady Anderson, Luis Gonzalez, who would be considered unlikely to marginal Hall of Famers anyway, will likely be passed on because of the taint of the era in which they played. In Andruw’s case, the best year of his career, could very well undermine any chance he has of making the Hall based on his defensive prowess and above average bat.
Here’s a tweet from DOB about Beachy: “We made the decision that Beachy was ahead of Mike at this time in the 5th starting pitcher competition. We will make final decision this weekend.” That’s hedging, and obviously because of the Jurrjens situation.
He’s also saying the JJ thing is just a leg cramp. But I’m horrified right now.
More from DOB: “Jurrjens said he came to dugout and told Fredi and Roger about the discomfort, and they told him he was coming out, that it wasn’t worth pushing it this close to the season. Jurrjens said he learned last year that it doesn’t help to not fully disclose such matters, to keep them secret until they worsen.”
I feel a little better. But it’s kind of immeasurably better. It’s amazing how the loss of JJ (or Lowe, Hanson, Hudson) would leave me feeling like the team is amazingly vulnerable all of the sudden. Foul mood.
My Murphy crusade continues. IT IS A JOKE that he does not merit more consideration. Some of this is a repeat.
Murphy finished his career with 398 home runs (19th in MLB history at the time of his retirement) and a .265 lifetime batting average. His MVP awards in 1982 and 1983 make him one of only four outfielders in major league history with consecutive MVP years; at the time, he was the youngest to have accomplished the feat. His many honors also include seven All-Star appearances, five Gold Gloves, and four Silver Sluggers. Murphy led the National League in home runs and RBI twice; he also led the MAJOR LEAGUES (emphasis added) in home runs and runs batted in over the 10-year span from 1981 to 1990.
One of the most productive and decorated players of the 1980s, Murphy led the National League in games, at bats, runs, hits, extra base hits, RBIs, runs created, total bases, and plate appearances during the decade. He also accomplished a 30-30 (30 home runs with 30 stolen bases) season in 1983. Murphy played in 740 consecutive games, at the time the 11th longest such streak in baseball history.
Matt, what a great idea! I better not though. First, I’m barely going to have time to keep up with baseball. Second, there are some sore losers on this board (not naming names) and I’m sure to kick serious butt.
I really don’t see how Bernie Williams or Jim Edmonds gets mentioned in the same sentence as Andruw. Just me.
In 2002 the first year UZR(Utltimate Zone rating) started. Edmond’s UZR from 2002 -2008 doesn’teven go above 10.0. Andruw is in double digits each year from 2002- 2007. In 2008 he had a .4 which is the bad year with the dodgers.
Yes Andruw had offensive holes but in my book if you are a once in a generation defender and an above average offensive player. You are a Hall of Famer. Plain and simple. Defense puts him in. Too bad we don’t know Dale Murphy’s UZR.
Hi Jace – Thanks for listening and joining us on the board.
Walker (and everybody) – if you put more than one URL in a comment it gets auto-moderated. And, to be honest, the moderated pile is not something we check very often. I did just approve yours and it’s #67 now.
I’m reposting the Fantasy BB post from Brave in NY (Matt) from yesterday. Join us. We’re putting together an all ABT group. Me, Curt, Matt and Brandon are all in. Before I tweet about it and open it up to our Twitter followers, I want to make sure our folks here on the comments board get first dibs. Don’t delay!
Hey everyone, I created a friendly Fantasy Baseball League for everyone to take part in. No money will change hands, just bragging rights…
The league is on yahoo. Here is the link to sign up: