Keeping up with Andruw Jones

January, 21, 2011
1/21/11
10:16
AM ET
Mark Simon, Katie Sharp, Mike Lynch and Doug Kern of ESPN Stats & Information sifted through the numbers and came up with this list of noteworthy nuggets on the newest Yankee.

1) Andruw Jones’ presence gives the Yankees a pair of players who previously hit 50 home runs in a single season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, If Jones and Alex Rodriguez play together, they’d be the fourth pair of 50-homer teammates, joining Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris (1962-66 Yankees), Brady Anderson and Albert Belle (1999-2000 Orioles), and Ken Griffey Jr. and Jim Thome (2008 White Sox).

2) Jones will be the third player who had a multi-homer game against the Yankees in the postseason (he did so in the 1996 World Series), who went on to play for the Yankees later in his career. The others are someone whom the Yankees were considering as an alternative to Jones –- Johnny Damon and a player who finished his career with the 2006 Yankees, Terrence Long .

3) Jones has the worst batting average (.212) of any player who had at least 1,500 plate appearances since 2007. The next-closest is Jason Varitek (.229).

4) Thanks to the National Pastime Almanac research tool, we can tell you that Jones is the only player since 1920, whose primary position was outfield or designated hitter, to have four straight seasons hitting .230 or worse. Only two players who played any position have had more consecutive seasons hitting .230 or worse (200+ AB) in the Live Ball Era (since 1920): Shortstops Ed Brinkman and Dal Maxvill (five each).

5) When Jones does manage to make contact, he packs a wallop. His average hit last season was a double. Among players with 251 or more plate appearances (i.e., half a season for batting-title purposes), he ranked fourth in total bases per base hit (2.11)

6) If Jones can duplicate his 2010 performance against southpaws, he'll fill a significant role off the bench. Though Jones managed a hit in just slightly more than 25 percent of his at-bats vs lefties last year, he really made those hits count.

One way to measure pure power is to calculate the number of extra-bases per at-bat -- a statistic called isolated power. Jones produced an isolated power of .302 vs lefties last season, the fourth-highest mark among AL players.

The 2010 Yankees outfielders collectively managed just an isolated power of .122 vs lefties, which ranked 25th in the majors. And the two players with the best marks among the group -- Marcus Thames (.154) and Austin Kearns (.149) -- won't even be in pinstripes this spring.

7) Jones had nine home runs out of 29 two-strike hits. Thirty one percent of his two-strike hits were home runs, the second-highest rate in the majors, trailing only Mark Reynolds -- 36.7 percent. He rated in the top 25 in baseball last season in both two-strike OPS (.695) and two-strike slugging percentage (.390).

8) Another one of our favorite tools, the Baseball-Reference Play Index, allows us to track the leaders in “hat tricks,” which we’ll define as three-strikeout games. Jones has 94 baseball "hat tricks," fifth-most among active players.

9) Via an odd statistical quirk that we found among our Inside Edge video tracking data, so many of Jones' hits go for home runs that Jones' batting average on balls in play against off-speed pitches (.164) was actually LOWER than his batting average (.183) last year (BABIP requires subtracting home runs from hits to calculate).

10) Jones was the top pull hitter in the majors among right-handed hitters. According to Inside Edge, he hit 62 percent of balls to the left side of the field last season, the highest rate among righties in the majors. The Yankees will find out whether that style of hitting works well for them in 2011.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
3 2.15 35 29
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .325
HRC. Beltran 5
RBIC. Beltran 13
RA. Soriano 12
OPSC. Beltran .938
ERAM. Tanaka 2.15
SOM. Tanaka 35

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