Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chipper Jones Hit A Ball Out Of Its Skin

Chipper Jones is already putting on an impressive pre-spring training performance as he attempts to comeback from an injury riddled 2010 season. Larry tore the cover off of a ball Tuesday during batting practice when he was striking balls with great vengeance and furious anger...
While hitting in an indoor batting cage at Turner Field, the 38-year-old third baseman hit a baseball with enough force to unravel the stitching and leave the cover hanging loosely from the ball’s core.

“I think this one’s done,” Jones said, pausing to hand the ball to a team official before continuing his hitting session.
I once tore some skin off of my hands in a batting cage when I was 12 so, yeah, I'm pretty bad-ass too. Of course, the first thing I do when I'm writing a post about a player is open up their Fangraphs page. Turns out the 38-year-old Brave has had a pretty Hall of Fame career.

Obviously, I knew how good Jones was/is since I lived in Atlanta for 15 years and the fair weather fans would beat that into my brain. But sometimes you just need to reflect on a player's career stats to truly appreciate them. Or at least I do in this crazy sabermetric/Internet world we live in today.

Jones has 436 home runs and a .306/.405/.536 career slash line. While he spent some time in the outfield over the years, we're going to pretend like he's a 3rd baseman for the following WAR Grid and WAR Graph. First up, the 3rd base WAR Grid and click to enlarge.

If you really squint because you're too lazy to click, Mike Schmidt is clearly number one on that list followed by Alex Rodriguez, Eddie Mathews, Wade Boggs, Brooks Robinson and George Brett. So here's the cumulative WAR Graph by age for Jones, Mathews, Boggs and Brett.

If Jones isn't already a Hall of Fame lock, which I think he might be, another semi-healthy year or two and the HOF bust carvers can get to work.

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