Friday, August 19, 2005

Cott on Andruw Jones

Kevin Cott - aka“The Intern” of Sports Guy Fame - has a nice piece up on Andruw Jones on Page2. It's a pretty good read, nothing earth shattering to be sure; I think it nicely conveys what a lot of people have probably felt towards Andruw over the past decade.

People always want to compare other outfielders to him. Cott aptly notes that the Andruw of today is not the Andruw of a few years ago. Jones is still fantastic in the field, still gets great jumps, and still glides effortlessly. But he's not quite the defensive force he used to be. In his absolute prime, I can't imagine anybody of recent memory being close. He was standing under balls other guys made incredible running or diving catches on. He brought a routine, even strange, beauty to center field. You watched him on his own, and you might have been impressed with his fluidity and grace (you also might also have been somewhat unimpressed, assuming he's too nonchalant). You turned on Sports Center, and suddenly a larger context put his performances into a better perspective. He was standing under balls other guys never got too.

Of course, people always always wanted to compare him to other outfielders. His career didn't get off to the same start as Doc Gooden's, but it's pretty damn hard to top 2 homers in game 1 of the World Series at age 18.

I think Andruw in his prime was head and shoulders above Griffey defensively, though I mostly just saw highlight film of the latter and that always makes it hard to tell. I really think most people will never adequately appreciate Andruw's defensive ability, because you came to appreciate it over time, not with one play or a handful of plays.


At 1:16 PM, Blogger I'm a Realist said...

His defense is second to none. He plays such a shallow centerfield, which allows him to take away a lot of those bloop hits that fall in front of the 29 other centerfielders. Yet, he is still able to backtrack to make great catches off the wall. People want to compare his play-making ability to Jim Edmonds. While Jim makes phenomenal plays, Andruw makes the same plays without the flash. He doesn't need the flash because, like you say, he is gliding under it.


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