Is There A Hall Of Fame Case To Be Made For Andruw Jones?
In case you missed it, we took a look at the Hall of Fame chances for the questionable cases of Scott Rolen, Billy Wagner and Johan Santana this week, and we finish the week off by looking at Andruw Jones.
My first day full-time at Barstool was the day that Jones announced his retirement officially, although he hadn’t played in a major league game since 2012. I took a look at his career that day, which also had some comments on his Hall of Fame case, but we can take another look at it today given that we actually have some voting results to go along with the suspicions back then that he wouldn’t be a first ballot Hall of Famer.
To my surprise, much like Santana’s case, Jones might not even get enough votes on his first appearance on the ballot to stay on for a second year. Of the 160 ballots that have been submitted, Jones appears on just 5.5% of them. That’s above the threshold that he’d need to stay on for next year, but only by a half percent and it’s important to note that 61.3% of the ballots have yet to be made public.
Jones finished his 17-year major league career with 434 homers, an .823 OPS, ten Gold Glove awards, five All Star selections, and an MVP runner-up season. His career WAR of 62.8 would put him below the average WAR of a Hall of Famer for a position player (69.0), but would still be better than the career WARs of names like Jackie Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Yogi Berra, Mike Piazza, Hank Greenberg and Willie Stargell to name a few.
What has hurt Jones the most, I’m assuming, are the years after he left Atlanta. In his five seasons after he left the Braves, Jones kicked around with the Dodgers, Rangers, White Sox and Yankees, hitting a combined .210 with a .740 OPS, which were his age-31 through 35 seasons. He also averaged 13 homers a year over that five-year span, which was a far cry from his 2005 season when he led the league with 51 to earn that MVP runner-up to Albert Pujols.
Hall of Fame voters love longevity, and while Jones played 17 seasons, the fact that he wasn’t even close to being a Hall of Fame player at any point in his 30’s is what’s going to keep him out of Cooperstown. However, if you look at his WAR7, which is when you take a player’s seven best seasons by WAR and add them up to look at the peak of a player’s career, he’s got a WAR7 of 46.4. Guess what Chipper Jones’ WAR7 is? 46.6, and he’s appeared on 98.8% of the ballots that have been made public. In fact, of the 33 names on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot, the only players who have a better WAR7 than Andruw Jones are Chipper Jones, Curt Schilling (49.0), Roger Clemens (66.3), and Barry Bonds (72.7).
But, unfortunately for Jones, it’s the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Very Good. So, while the peak of his career is certainly worth acknowledging as being on par with other candidates who are worthy of enshrinement, he didn’t quite have the rest of his resume rounded out for voters to give him any real consideration.