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Andruw Jones

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Full Name: Andruw Rudolf Jones Current Team: Chicago White Sox
Height/Weight: 6'1"/240 Uniform Number: 25
Birthdate: April 23, 1977 Entry Draft: N/A (1993 Free Agent)
Birthplace: Willemstad, Curacao First Acquired By: Atlanta Braves
Primary Position: RF College: N/A


Biography

Andruw Rudolf Jones [pronounced An-drew] (born April 23, 1977, in Willemstad, Curaçao, in the Netherlands Antilles) was an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves. He has collected nine consecutive Gold Glove Awards, a Silver Slugger Award, and a Hank Aaron Award. He now plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Golden Prospect

Andruw Jones signed with the Atlanta Braves organization as a free agent in 1993 at the age of 16. By 1996, he was being hailed as 'the next Griffey." The Braves brought Jones up to Atlanta on August 15,1996 when he was just 19 years-old. He spent his early time in the majors playing in right field because established center fielders Marquis Grissom and Kenny Lofton were already entrenched in the position.

In Game 1 of the 1996 World Series on October 20,1996, Jones was able to demonstrate his talents on the national stage. He connected for two home runs to left field on his first two at-bats as the Braves routed the New York Yankees 12-1. Jones became the youngest player ever to homer in the World Series (breaking Mickey Mantle's record.)

Early career

Jones became the Braves' everyday right fielder in 1997, but he posted a disappointing .231 average. Andruw moved to center field in 1998 and had a much more encouraging season. His average improved to .271, he belted 31 homers, and he stole 27 bases. He also won his first of nine straight Gold Glove Awards.

Whether he was in the batter's box or gliding under a fly ball to make a casual basket catch, Jones played the game in a very relaxed manner. This temporarily earned him the ire of manager Bobby Cox in June 1998 in an oft-forgotten incident when Cox pulled Jones out of a game because he felt Andruw had lazily allowed a single to drop in center field.

Still only 22 years-old, Jones had similar numbers in 1999, and though he was a dependable (he played all 162 games that season) and good player, many began to wonder if or when he would live up to the potential that they believed he possessed. He had a mini-breakout season in 2000 with career highs in average (.303), homers (36), and RBI (104). He also earned his first All-Star appearance.

However, in 2001 his average fell and his strikeouts went up. Plus, by now, Jones had gained nearly 30 pounds since reaching the majors, greatly diminishing his speed on the basepaths (he would not steal more than 11 bases after 2001). He maintained similar numbers in 2002, but was still playing superb defense. In 2003, with power-hitting Gary Sheffield in the lineup, Jones set a new career high in RBI (116). Unfortunately, he took a step backward in 2004 when he hit less than 30 homers and struck out a whopping 147 times.

Breakout in 2005

Although Andruw had developed into an outstanding center fielder and a solid offensive player, the general feeling shared by many fans and critics was that Jones had not lived up to the superstar expectations that had been pinned on him ten years before.

Prior to the 2005 season, Jones increased his workout regimen and, following advice given by Hall of Famer Willie Mays, widened his batting stance. The result was Andruw's most productive offensive season ever. Jones hit a major league leading 51 home runs, surpassing Hank Aaron's and Eddie Mathews' single-season club record. He also led the National League with a career-high 128 RBI. He finished just behind St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman Albert Pujols in the 2005 NL MVP vote.

2006 and Beyond

Jones played for the Netherlands in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, going 0-6 with two walks in 8 plate appearances. Jones continued to dominate opposing pitchers in 2006, finishing the season with 41 home runs and 129 RBI. Jones also became more selective at the plate (82 walks, as compared to 64 the prior season), which helped him score 107 runs during 2006, an increase of 12 over the prior year and his most in a single season since 2000. Jones remained the premier defensive center fielder in the National League, winning his ninth consecutive Gold Glove award.


Awards and Accomplishments

  • Won Minor League Player of the Year Award in 1995 and 1996
  • Jones was the youngest player in the National League in 1996
  • 9-Time NL Gold Glove Award Winner (1998–2006)
  • 5-Time All-Star (2000, 2002–03, 2005–06)
  • Led the Majors with 51 home runs in 2005
  • Holds Braves record for most home runs in a season (2005, with 51)
  • Led the National League with 656 at bats in 2000
  • Led the National League with 128 RBIs in 2005
  • NL Silver Slugger Award for CF in 2005
  • NL Hank Aaron Award as the best offensive player in 2005
  • NL Player of the Month for June and August 2005.
  • Major League Player of the Year for 2005

Personal life

Andruw married his wife, Nicole, in 2002. They met in an Atlanta mall in 1998. Currently, they have a son, Druw, and a daughter, Madison.

Trivia

  • Andruw strengthened his wrists as a teenager by swinging a sledgehammer like a baseball bat.
  • Andruw was on an episode of Unique Whips on SPEED TV, in which he had his Buick customized.

See also

Scouting Report

A strong, well-balanced hitter, Jones has truly prodigious power. He's a dead-red hitter who can turn on any fastball and deposit it in the bleachers. He is also not averse to waiting pitchers out, as evidenced by his extremely solid walk rates. Jones still struggles with breaking balls, however, and can be quite streaky at the plate. His contact and bat-control skills are lacking as well, and he still doesn't have the best command of the strike zone. It often seems like Jones comes to the plate with an "all or nothing" approach. His speed and baserunning skills have eroded because of knee problems.

Defensively, Jones is one of the best center fielders of all time, and the jumps he gets on the ball are truly uncanny. His increased, um, size in recent years has hampered his speed, though, and his range is not exactly what it used to be as a result. Still, Jones is one of the top all-around players in baseball, thanks to his rare combination of power, patience, and defense.

Statistics

Batting Stats

Year Team G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH SB IBB GDP
1996 ATL 31 106 11 23 5 13 .217 .265 .443 7 1 7 29 0 0 3 0 1
1997 ATL 153 399 60 92 18 70 .231 .329 .416 18 1 56 107 4 5 20 2 11
1998 ATL 159 582 89 158 31 90 .271 .321 .515 33 8 40 129 4 1 27 8 10
1999 ATL 162 592 97 163 26 84 .275 .365 .483 35 5 76 103 9 0 24 12
2000 ATL 161 656 122 199 36 104 .303 .366 .541 36 6 59 100 9 0 21 0 12
2001 ATL 161 625 104 157 34 104 .251 .312 .461 25 2 56 142 3 0 11 3 10
2002 ATL 154 560 91 148 35 94 .264 .366 .513 34 0 83 135 10 0 8 4 14
2003 ATL 156 595 101 165 36 116 .277 .338 .513 28 2 53 125 5 0 4 2 18
2004 ATL 154 570 85 149 29 91 .261 .345 .488 34 4 71 147 3 0 6 9 24
2005 ATL 160 586 95 154 51 128 .263 .347 .575 24 3 64 112 15 0 5 13 19
2006 ATL 156 565 107 148 41 129 .262 .363 .531 29 0 82 127 13 0 4 9 13
2007 ATL 154 572 83 127 26 94 .222 .311 .413 27 2 70 138 8 0 5 4 16
2008 LAD 75 209 21 33 3 14 .158 .256 .249 8 1 27 76 1 0 0 0 5
2009 TEX 82 281 43 60 17 43 .214 .323 .459 18 0 45 72 2 0 5 3 7
Total NL 1836 6617 1066 1716 371 1131 .259 .339 .489 338 35 744 1470 84 6 138 65 165
Total AL 82 281 43 60 17 43 .214 .323 .459 18 0 45 72 2 0 5 3 7
Career 1918 6898 1109 1176 388 1174 .263 .342 .488 356 35 789 1542 86 6 143 68 172

Fielding Stats

Year Team POS G GS INN PO A E DP TP FPCT
1996 ATL OF 29 22 224.2 73 4 2 0 0 .975
1996 ATL RF 20 17 153.2 50 3 2 0 0 .975
1997 ATL OF 147 96 973 287 14 7 2 0 .977
1997 ATL RF 95 95 55 554.2 148 7 5 1 0 .969
1997 ATL CF 57 41 415.1 139 7 2 1 0 .986
1997 ATL LF 2 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 1.000
1998 ATL CF 159 156 1372.2 413 20 2 6 0 .995
1999 ATL CF 162 162 1447.1 492 13 10 1 0 .981
2000 ATL CF 161 161 1430.1 438 9 2 2 0 .996
2001 ATL CF 161 161 1435.1 461 10 6 6 0 .987
2002 ATL CF 154 152 1358 404 5 3 1 0 .993
2002 ATL DH 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2003 ATL CF 155 153 1329 390 8 3 1 0 .993
2004 ATL CF 154 153 1347 389 10 3 2 0 .993
2005 ATL CF 159 158 1366.1 365 11 2 1 0 .995
2006 ATL CF 153 152 1317.1 378 4 2 1 0 .995
2006 ATL DH 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2007 ATL CF 154 153 1346 396 3 2 1 0 .995
2008 LAD CF 66 55 496.1 133 1 1 0 0 .993
2008 LAD DH 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2009 TEX DH 55 53 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2009 TEX OF 17 17 148.2 30 0 0 0 0 1.000
2009 TEX LF 12 12 98.2 24.2 0 0 0 0 1.000
2009 TEX 1B 8 4 39.2 32 1 0 6 0 1.000
2009 TEX RF 5 5 50 6 0 0 0 0 1.000
Total OF 1831 1751 15592 4649 112 45 24 0 .991
Total CF 1707 1662 14732 4426 102 38 23 0 .992
Total RF 120 77 758.1 204 10 7 1 0 .968
Total DH 59 57 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Total LF 14 12 25 0 0 0 0 1.000
Total 1B 8 4 32 1 0 6 0 1.000

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