Does Andruw Jones deserve to make the Hall of Fame?

Andruw Jones
Andruw Jones is one of the greatest center fielders of the modern era. Photo from Tomahawk Take.

The Andruw Jones Hall of Fame case is one of the more intriguing conundrums for baseball writers. His situation is in no way related to steroids like many of his contemporaries.

Instead, Andruw Jones’ Hall of Fame case is largely a referendum on the importance of defense in the game and how much Hall of Fame voters value that part of the game.

Jones first appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2018, so when the 2022 ballot results are released, it will mark the midway point of Andruw Jones HOF chances. Jones’ Hall of Fame votes so far are equal parts disappointing and encouraging. He barely survived his first year with just 7.3% of the vote, needing 5% to remain on the ballot. But that total increased to 33.9% in 2021, providing some hope for Andruw Jones’ HOF chances.

Andruw Jones Hall of Fame case

As mentioned, Andruw Jones’ Hall of Fame case is one that’s driven by his defense.

There should be little question that he was the best defensive center fielder of his generation and arguably the best in baseball history. Even compared to an above-average center fielder, Jones was on another level. He purposely played shallow so that he could turn cheap bloopers from hits into outs because he was exceptional at going back on the ball and making highlight-reel catches.

While Gold Glove voting tends to be flawed, there is something to be said of Jones winning 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1998 to 2007. In baseball history, Ken Griffey Jr. and Willie Mays are the only two center fielders other than Jones to win at least 10 Gold Gloves. Also, Griffey, Mays, and Mike Schmidt are the only other players other than Jones with at least 10 Gold Gloves and at least 400 home runs. All three were first-ballot Hall of Famers.

Playing both sides

That leads us to the next part of Andruw Jones’ Hall of Fame case. He was far from a player who was all defense and no offense. Jones finished his big league career with 434 home runs, hitting at least 30 homers seven times.


While he didn’t reach the mythical figure of 500 home runs, coming up 66 home runs short while also winning 10 Gold Gloves should put him close enough to the likes of Griffey, Mays, and Schmidt to make Jones a Hall of Famer.

For the prime of his career, Jones was both the best center fielder in the game and also one of the better offensive players at his position. From 2000 to 2007, Jones had at least 26 home runs and at least 90 RBIs in every season.

That includes the 2005 season when he led the majors in home runs and the National League in RBIs. During that time, Jones also showed incredible durability. Between 1998 and 2007, Jones averaged nearly 158 games per season, missing less than five games per season for a full decade.

There’s a chance

On the other hand, the biggest thing keeping Jones out of the Hall of Fame is how quickly his career declined after turning 30. During his final season with the Braves in 2007, Jones saw his average and power drop. He then signed with the Dodgers and everything fell apart, relegating him to a part-time role for the rest of his big-league career. For some voters, Jones was a Hall of Famer when he left the Braves after 2007 but played his way out of a place in Cooperstown.

However, that’s a weak reason to fully dismiss Andruw Jones’ Hall of Fame case.

He got to the big leagues when he was just 19 and spent a decade being an elite defensive player and an above-average offensive player while never getting hurt and rarely taking a day off.

Ten years of that should be enough to make the Hall of Fame, even if his decline was swift. As mentioned, there are only a few players who accomplished what Jones did both offensively and defensively. Seeing as how he was such an iconic figure defensively, there’s no question Jones should be in the Hall of Fame one day.

Follow us on social media

About Bryan Zarpentine 238 Articles
Bryan Zarpentine is a freelance writer and editor with most of his work focusing on the world of sports. He is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and still resides in upstate New York.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply