Friday, May 16, 2008

My brother Steve in Los Angeles has requested a "Cold Hand" analysis of veteran outfielder Andruw Jones, who moved from Atlanta to the Dodgers via free agency this past winter at a price of $36 million over two years. Jones's strong suit has always been defense, but for that kind of cash, Dodger fans also have a right to expect some offensive punch.

A Google search of the terms "Andruw Jones" "slump" brings up quite a bit:

*A June 20, 2007 article in USA Today noting that, "Jones was hitless in 18 straight at-bats coming into the game against the Boston Red Sox, dropping his average to .202."

*An "honor" from early in the 2008 season by Sports Illustrated, placing Jones on the "All-Slump Team." The award proclamation reads, in part, "Jones, who hit 51 home runs just three years ago, has hit just one dinger in his first 27 games and is hitting .159."

*An April 22, 2008 New York Times piece entitled "Dodgers’ Jones Plumbs Depths of Hitting Slump." This article goes into some statistical depth, at least over the past four seasons. Now in his 13th major-league season (although only 31 years old), Jones could simply be experiencing natural career decline. However, he has also shown considerable offensive volatility in recent years. According to the Times article:

In 2005, Jones hit .185 through 18 games and finished with 51 home runs. He was the runner-up for the National League Most Valuable Player award. In 2006, he hit .262 with 41 homers.

Still, according to a report entitled "The Effects of Age on Hitting," most offensive abilities appear to peak when players are in their mid-20s.

1 comment:

JTapp said...

I remember Bill James or someone did a study on Jones (among others), who is "famous" for defense despite not having very good defensive numbers. In the paper, it was shown that he was likely a mutliple Golden Glove award winner simply because of name recognition. Enough people believe he's a good defender so it must be true, even though statistics tell a different story.