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Is Andruw Jones back?

Apr 26, 2010, 11:16 AM EDT

Andruw Jones White Sox.jpgThe White Sox’ Andruw Jones has gotten off to a fantastic start: .292/.404/.708 with six home runs, including the walkoff job on Friday night.  Is the guy who once wowed us with his defense back to being a productive player after years in the wilderness?

Not so fast says FanGraph’s R.J. Anderson, who notes that his quick start is most likely a function of some luck on balls in play and a home run friendly park. His last line tells you all you need to know about how Anderson feels about Jones: “He’s just an aging slugger using his bat to prop the casket lid open.” Ouch.

While I want to be optimistic about Jones because (a) I vividly remember when he didn’t suck; and (b) he actually got into pretty good shape this winter, and maybe that will make a lasting difference, we’re clearly into “I’ll believe it when I see it” territory with the guy.  After all, he started out even hotter for the Rangers last April: .344/.523/.781. The rest of the year? Miserable. A blip of eight homers in July gave him a slugging-heavy .934 OPS that month, but otherwise he was terrible.

So many people wanted to believe that he was back in 2009. I imagine a lot of people want to believe the same thing this year. Until he puts up another month or two of good performance, however, we shouldn’t be buyin’ what he’s sellin’.

  1. gumbercules - Apr 26, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    Also, I believe of those 8 July HRs, 3 were in one game.

  2. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Apr 26, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    who notes that his quick start is most likely a function of some luck on balls in play and a home run friendly park.

    Taking a look at his fangraphs page, not a lot of things look out of whack initially, here’s some numbers:
    BABIP: .296 (avg .276)
    LD%: 15.2% (pretty low, but meh)
    GB/FB: .65 (well that’s low, I wonder…)
    FB%: 51.5% (wow, that’s a lot of flyballs)
    HR/FB: 35.3(good god!)
    So basically, half of his batted balls are FB’s, and of those, a little more than a 3rd are HR’s! Yeah that’s not going to regress at all…

  3. palehose67 - Apr 26, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    Of course he won’t keep this up. But one of the factors mentioned — a hitter friendly ballpark — isn’t going to change. In fact, as the weather warms up in Chicago (and it will — some day), expect to see more balls flying out of the park. Before the season started, some (I won’t mention Craig by name) thought a serious drop-off in home runs would occur with the White Sox this season. While I still expect home runs to drop-off for the team, the team has a solid group of seven hitters capable of hitting 20 homes runs each, especially playing at the Cell (Beckham, Konerko, Jones, Teehen, Ramirez, Quentin, Teahen). The White Sox currently are tied for first place for most home runs by any team. That’s not the problem. The White Sox are 24th in runs scored. People just aren’t getting on base enough (I’m talking to you, Pierre!)

  4. gumbercules - Apr 26, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    You’re right. Texas doesn’t play in a hitter’s park at all and Andruw was able to sustain his hot April numbers there too. No, wait…

  5. Old Gator - Apr 26, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    I like this Anderson guy. He can turn a phrase deftly and kick you in the balls with equal facility.

  6. Palehose67 - Apr 26, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Of course, there is a difference between warming up and turning the oven knob to broil! Seriously, you’re obviously correct that Arlington is a home run hitter’s park as well (I believe in 2009 the Cell and Arlington were almost identical in HR production). After all, I started my comment with “Of course he won’t keep this up….” But perhaps he’s in better shape this year (certainly looks better than last year). I’m not saying that Andruw is going to be Jermaine Dye in 2005, but I think he will hit more than 20 HR this year.

  7. GimmeSomeSteel - Apr 26, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    I don’t know if Andruw can keep it up, and I don’t care. I have him for a buck, and if he slumps, OK, he’s gone and thanks for the all the fish.

  8. the man - Apr 26, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    If you remember watching andruw jones right before he started his major decline, you can definitely tell he has made some changes this year. He;s much more patient in the box and i for one believe hes bringing it back. props to the whitesox, andruw is the best and cheapest bang for its buck for 2010.

  9. Terrence Giribaldie - May 4, 2010 at 6:26 PM

    He guys give the guy some credit….you have to admit that he’s o.k. every player that has more then 400 homerun is consider a productive player…so why is everybody so negative…don’t forget he has already 10 gold glove, I don’t think this has anything to do with ballparks etc etc…he has enough to offer !!!

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