Friday, April 25, 2008

Awful Andruw

Is Andruw Jones finished?

It's a weird question, and not one you're supposed to be asking about a healthy 31-year-old outfielder who up until last year was putting up Hall of Fame-caliber numbers. Seems like just yesterday I remember a spry 19-year-old kid putting on a show against the Yankees in the 1996 World Series. After that he became a man, churning out 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons like they were nothing.

What happened to that guy?

We saw how lost Jones looked at the plate last season, which was a little weird since it was a contract year. He finished 2007 with his fewest homers (26) since 1999, his lowest OPS (.724) in a full season and just a .222 average, yet the Dodgers still gave him $36 million over two years in a desperate bid for some offense. And Jones has rewarded them this year with a .162 average and one stinking home run. He sat out earlier this week with the flu/allergies, and he left Friday's game after fouling a pitch off his leg. Fun times!

This is a guy who, according to, compares most favorably as a hitter with Frank Robinson, Eddie Matthews, Johnny Bench and Al Kaline through age 30. Those men are enshrined in Cooperstown, but instead of continuing on his journey to join them, Jones is suddenly having trouble distinguishing balls and strikes.

Joe Torre batted Jones eighth the other day. Eighth. Where some pitchers bat. A guy in one of my 10-team mixed leagues dropped him today. Just straight-up dropped him and replaced him with Josh Willingham (who somehow wasn't owned). It seemed weird at first, but then I realized Willingham could easily hit 26 homers and won't hit .222, or worse. I can't say the same thing about Jones.

A superstar hitting .162 at this point in the season wouldn't bother me so much if it wasn't coming off the heels of such a bad season. Put the two together, and you have a player who seems to be in a rapid decline. And I'm jumping ship, or at the very least relegating Jones to the end of my bench.

It's been nice knowing you Andruw.

1 comment:

Aimster said...

I remember watching the rookie phenom at Fulton County Stadium 12 years ago. He was incredible. Now he's just downright depressing. I drated him on my fantasy team last year and dropped him well before the All Star break. What went wrong these past few years? An obvious answer is his weight. He's embarrasingly out of shape to the point where he can't make the sensational plays he used to. But offesively, the weight probably also factors into his balance and approach at the plate.

Josh Willingham (The Hammer to Marlins fans)is tearing it up this year, hitting for average and power. So people who choose to recognize Marlins players who put up good number will benefit their fantasy teams.