MLB Hall of Fame: Breaking down the 2020 ballot

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 02: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees field a ball against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 2, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 02: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees field a ball against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 2, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Andruw Jones – third year on ballot (7.5% in 2019)

While Andruw Jones had a solid career with the bat, his MLB Hall of Fame case truly comes down to how much one valued his defense.

Quite simply, there has been no one like Jones that has played center field in MLB history. Over his career, he won ten consecutive Gold Gloves, emerging as a human highlight reel in center for the Braves. His 230 runs saved in center are the best in MLB history, and the 253 runs he saved over his career ranks second, trailing only Brooks Robinson.

Jones was also handy with the bat during his prime. A true five tool player, Jones was a five time All Star and finished second in the 2005 NL MVP vote. Over his career, he posted a .254/.337/.486 batting line, hitting 414 homers, 383 doubles, and stealing 152 bases. Those numbers were depressed after he left the Braves, when his career fell off a cliff as his weight ballooned.

The offense alone would not be enough to enshrine Jones. Yet, there have been plenty of players whose induction has come mainly due to their ability on defense. The likes of Ozzie Smith, Bill Mazeroski, and Ray Schalk, amongst others, are not in the Hall for their ability to hit. If they can be inducted, there is room for Jones as well.

Andruw Jones was, quite simply, one of the greatest defensive players in the history of the game. Add in his respectable production with the bat, and he deserves a longer look for the MLB Hall of Fame.