IMPORTANT BLOG ANNOUNCEMENT

PLEASE CHANGE YOUR BOOKMARKS AND FEEDS TO THE NEW URL, YANKEEANALYSTS.COM. TYU IS IN NO WAY AFFILIATED WITH THE NEW YORK YANKEES OR YANKEES UNIVERSE.
Jan 082011

19 year old Jones belts one of his two HRs against the Yanks in the 1996 World Series

SIs Jon Heyman Tweeted yesterday that the Yanks are interested in FA outfielder Andruw Jones, and have begun talks with his agent Scott Boras. Here’s the report:

#yankees started talks w/ andruw jones, tho nothing’s close. seek righty hitting OF. concerned about thames defense.

It’s hard to believe that Jones is still just 33 years old, thinking way back to him playing against the Yanks in the 1996 World Series for the Braves as a 19 year old. A few years ago, between rumors of a lack of conditioning and an abysmal season for the Dodgers (.505 OPS) it appeared he was going to be out of baseball entirely. But he’s raised his stock since then, posting a few good seasons playing part time for the Rangers and White Sox.

The role they’d be looking for Jones to assume is to replace the Lefty masher that Thames was last year, but with better defense. Marcus Thames was magic with the bat last year, but was circus act in Left. While Jones is no longer thought of as the elite defender he was in his heyday as a CF, he can still play the corners adequately, if not better. Fangraphs gave him a robust 38.0 UZR/150 in 2009 with Texas, and 2.2 UZR/150 last season with the ChiSox. Facing Lefties, results have been mixed the past few seasons, but I think last year’s numbers are what caught the Yanks attention:

Split            G GS  PA  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
vs RHP as RHB      81 226    192 42 10  1 11  25  6  2 30 54 .219 .327 .453 .781 87  11   2  0  2   0   3  .240    89   119
vs LHP as RHB      43 102     86 22  2  0  8  23  3  0 15 19 .256 .373 .558 .931 48   4   1  0  0   0   0  .237   124   148
vs LH Starter   33 30 122 103 20 25  3  1  9  23  3  0 18 23 .243 .361 .553 .914 57   5   1  0  0   0   1  .225   120   149
vs RH Starter   74 46 206 175 21 39  9  0 10  25  6  2 27 50 .223 .330 .446 .776 78  10   2  0  2   0   2  .248    88   112

The role the Yanks would have for him would be the same as Thames from last year, starting against Lefties for Granderson or Gardner, and coming off the bench when an opposing manager brings in a Lefty out of the bullpen. At age 33 and given the fact he’s no longer thought of as an everyday player, the first question that pops to my mind is whether or not he can still hit the fastball, since Jones has long been known as a dead red hitter. Fangraphs Pitch Type Values has him in positive territory against the fastball the past two years. Here’s his BR numbers facing Power/Finesse pitchers from last year:

Split         G GS  PA AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
vs. Power       48  74    60 15  3  1  3         8 12 17 .250 .392 .483  .875 29   2   2  0  0   0   1  .300   114   159
vs. avg.P/F     41  92    80 22  3  0  9        18 11 18 .275 .370 .650 1.020 52   5   1  0  0   0   2  .245   142   180
vs. Finesse     60 162   138 27  6  0  7        22 22 38 .196 .302 .391  .694 54   8   0  0  2   0   0  .211    69    82

Soft tossing junkballers give him the most trouble, and always have. Look again at his pitch type values I linked above, even in his prime he never hit anything that was off speed except for the occasional hanging curveball. But clearly he can still hit the hard throwers, and even thrives against them. For the role the Yanks would be looking at with him, he’s perfect. You can start him for Curtis Granderson or Brett Gardner facing a tough lefty and still maintain solid defense, or bring him off the bench for either player when an opposing manager calls in a LOOGY in a late inning situation. We know that the Yanks have some money to spend this year, and while Jones may have recovered his stock somewhat he still only earned 500K each of the past two years. The Yanks could triple that figure and land themselves a bargain. Sign me up.

14 Responses to “Yanks targeting Andruw Jones”

  1. Still prefer Milledge…  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

  2. Oh joy…..only in a perfect universe would this work  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

  3. He will fit right in, soft tossing junkballers tend to give the Yankees trouble in general.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

  4. I buy your arguments, Steve: decent defense plus righty pop lends versatility. However, I would rather develop prospects with the role, eg Golson or Laird. Youthful enthusiasm can lead some to break out when thy smell the big time. Such opportunity would also encourage the farm, generally.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

    Steve S. Reply:

    I love having former all star veterans on the bench, and I know Cashman does as well. If you read Torre’s book, one of the big reasons he felt the 1998 team was so unusually good was because the bench was so deep. Chili Davis, Tim Raines, Darryl Strawberry. When one of the regulars needed a day off, you didn’t lose anything having those guys out there. Raines and Davis were good coming off the bench and Straw could wreck a game with one swing.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

    smurfy Reply:

    I could see that, especially if we were in a tooth-and-nail race, like if we had snagged Lee, and if our other horses were running well. But if we want to get younger, we have to have the patience to develop youth. Sometimes this way, sometimes that way.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

    Matt Imbrogno Reply:

    I see that side as well, but Golson and Laird both have some flaws. Laird’s a complete unknown in the OF and Golson hasn’t shown any sort of ability to hit. I don’t think either one of those guys would make a bad bench option, but not as the first OF off the bench. Until Golson proves he can hit and Laird proves he can field, they should be relegated to 5th OF status.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

    smurfy Reply:

    Golson did hit some balls hard. Frequent at-bats is part of giving a guy a real shot. Yeah, triple-A is where they should get that, but I’d like to rotate in a hot bat, and give him some regular at-bats. But I get your point that a well-oiled machine would have that ready stand-in who does not represent a big hole in the lineup.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

  5. One of those moves that can really pay off when an OF gets nicked up and needs to miss a week.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

  6. All Jones needs to do is lose 20 lbs and he’s back.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

  7. Signing Andruw Jones will help the Yankees winning his next worldseries. It is a good choice and he will hit a few homeruns for the Yankees.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

© 2011 TYU Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha