I know what you are thinking, there is about as much chance as Andruw Jones winning the award in 2009 as there is he being elected president. Of course, the chances of that happening are pretty slim considering he was not born in America. Before you throw this idea out the window, hear me out for a minute.
No one can doubt the fact that Andruw Jones was plain awful in 2008 for the Dodgers. He batted only .158 and hit a mere three HRs. This is terrible for anyone that plays in the majors, but on top of that this guy has averaged 33 HRs a season when he played a full year. The question is: What happened?
I’ve been a fan of the Braves since the early 1990’s. I would have followed them longer, but I wasn’t born until 1986. Of all the players that I have seen come up from the minors over the years, no one has had more raw talent than Jones. His ability to change a game is unprecedented. The problem is his work ethic.
How great would it be to have the ability to take your game to a level above everyone else and have unlimited potential. How sad is to watch a player like that not hustle, not work hard, and not do everything he could to meet that high potential. That player is Jones.
The problem is the game was easy for him. I really doubt he had to put much effort into it. As a result, he does not work hard to keep performing at a high level. Now, as he ages, he is not putting forth the same effort that other players have to have once they enter into their thirties in order to be successful.
I’ll just say it, I hope the Braves sign him for the 2009 season. I wouldn’t mind them paying one or two million for his services this season if that is what it takes. If he can learn to discipline himself, he can be the best center-fielder in all of baseball. Realistically he might not ever hit 51 HRs in a season again, but he does not have to anymore.
Realistically, I could see him hit 25 HRs, drive in 90 RBI, and hit for an average of around .265. That is really not all that bad considering where he was in 2008 and what you would have to pay to get him.
The way I see it, 2008 was a wakeup call for Andruw Jones. Maybe he won’t follow through with his plans of loosing weight and trying to find his swing again. However, what if he does and he is playing on another team when it happens?
The fact is that Jordan Schaefer and Jason Heyward are not ready to play in the majors just yet. The Schaefer era is certainly on the way, but it is not going to happen in 2009 more than likely. Andruw Jones would be a great person to take a risk on in 2009. If it does not work out, the Braves have great depth at the outfield position to help out.
It would be wise to take a gamble on Jones. The Braves could opt for a guy like Adam Dunn, but is he worth what he is asking? Jones could be just as good if not better than Dunn in 2009, and would cost millions cheaper. Giving Andruw a chance in 2009 could lead to a great comeback for Andruw and a big discount for Frank Wren.
Andruw Jones for the 2009 Comeback Player of the Year.