Andruw Jones Overrated?

I have received numerous requests to discuss Jayson Stark’s excerpt “The Most Overrated CF of All Time.” Believe me, I have plenty I want to say, but I have had too much other stuff going on. I should have a post on it by Monday, so stay tuned.

7 Responses “Andruw Jones Overrated?”

  1. Gibson Rules says:

    Stark’s “Underrated” list is only mildly idiotic but the “Overrated” list, including the inclusion of Jones, is majorly idiotic. Both lists suffer from the same flaw: neither define what being over- or underrated means. By the fans? By the press? For their career? Or right now? Does it mean overpaid? Underpaid?

    This failure to think systematically basically summarizes all of ESPN’s baseball coverage.

  2. Jonathan says:

    I think the “system” is Stark’s whims and impressions; if he believes the player to be underrated or overrated, they are — even if he can’t sustain the supposition through a legitimate, manifold argument.

    Another problem with ESPN is that a lot of their journalists have had their minds blow the last couple years by “wacky” statistics like runs-created, zone-rating, or OPS.

  3. Jonathan says:

    “minds blown” — though the other options isn’t terribly incorrect —

  4. Kent says:

    I agree with Stark. Andy Jones is way overrated. Zone rating shows his declining defense and his batting has dropped off this year.

  5. mraver says:

    Yes, it is true, Andruw Jones is no longer an historically-good CF. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t for nearly a decade. Perhaps his defense is overrated now because of his reputation, but I don’t think that means his career is overrated. His career thus far is one of an above-average offensive player (this year not withstanding) who is also one of the best CFs to ever play the game.

    But this just goes back to the question of how you’re definging “overrated”.

  6. Lev Brosntein says:

    The comments on this blog about ESPN’s writers are perfectly accurate – at http://www.firejoemorgan.com you’ll find a serious of humorous commentaries on them – but we should give credit where it’s due. Stark is one of the first mainstream guys to try to apply some statistical methodology in his columns. His current posting ( http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=2872977) examines shortstops and cites not only OPS, range factor, and zone rating, but also VORP and EqA. His – and everyone else’s – interpretations deserve scrutiny, but this approach puts Stark light years ahead of most of the rest of the pack. Joe Morgan and his ilk shrink from those stats like a vampire from a cross.

    Of course, without Joe Morgan there would be no firejoemorgan to laugh at, so who am I to complain?

    We’ll need to read Stark’s arguments to see how valid they are, and of course it’s possible that he’s accurate even if his methodology is flawed. If memory serves – my reference books are at home and I’m not – Jones’ chances accepted have not been better than Beltran’s and Edmunds for several years. (I’d love to see those numbers posted beside his weight and body fat percentages, but the latter aren’t accessible, and likely aren’t known even to Jones.) A few of us thought several years ago that Jones wasn’t getting to as many gappers and deep balls as he once did, an impression reinforced by the observation that he was no longer playing as shallow as he once did. There is no data for the latter, but the former appears to be accurate.

    Even so, my memory of his fielding performance over the last several years was that it was still solid. But any decline should give pause about what the next few years will bring.

    Unless there’s an injury, his hitting this season seems likely to return to (or close to) the norm.

    Jones has been great, it’s been fun watching him, and if he leaves, the memories will remain.

  7. Marc Schneider says:

    It’s almost impossible not to be “overrated” at some point in a player’s career. For years, people have been saying that Andruw is in the Willie Mays category as a centerfielder. Even Willie Mays was probably overrated at some point because people build them up to the point that their performance can’t possibly sustain. Even if Andruw is overrated according to some standard, so what? The question is whether there is anyone you would prefer to have out there. My problem is more with his offense than his defense. It seems to me that the only really positive offensive tool he has is home runs.