Chipper Jones hasn't had a season worthy of MVP consideration since 2008. But for those who think Jones's retirement is coming a few years too late, consider that he has actually been more valuable than Ryan Howard, who is viewed as a star.
According to FanGraphs, Jones was slightly more valuable from 2009-2011 than Howard. Jones had 7.8 FanGraphs's wins above replacement (WAR) while Howard had 7.6.
According to Baseball-Reference.com Howard was less than one win better than Jones over that span. Jones had 8.2 Baseball Reference WAR while Howard had 9.1.
Howard won the 2006 NL MVP, has finished in the top 10 in MVP voting every year since 2006 and was ages 29-31 during 2009-2011. Jones hasn't received an MVP vote since 2008 and hasn't finished in the top 10 in voting since 2007.
Keep in mind that WAR is a counting stat. In other words, it takes in to account that Jones has played 364 games to Howard's 455 over the previous three seasons, and Jones still accrued about as much or a little more overall value.
Howard was definitely overvalued by MVP voters and maybe by fans in general. More savvy fans and analysts realize Howard hasn't as good as his reputation. But, even they would probably be surprised that Jones was about as valuable over the past three seasons. I know I was.
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