Is Andruw Jones Done?

There's been a lot of discussion over the last few days about whether Andruw Jones is toast or whether he could rebound and continue what looked like a Hall of Fame career.

I decided to take a quick look at what the future might hold based on a revised list of his most comparable players.  For those who are interested in the full methodology, you can find it in my article looking at the top free agent hitters.

Since my first vivid memory of Jones is his two home runs in the 1996 World Series, it's hard to believe he just completed his age 31 season.  Here are his 10 most comparable players through the age of 31.

Sim Score Player Retired At
929 Dale Murphy 37
921 Rudy York 34
918 Jesse Barfield 32
912 Roger Maris 33
907 Eric Davis 38
905 Jeff Burroughs 34
904 Sammy Sosa 37
903 Ron Gant 38
901 Carlos Beltran ??
896 Rocky Colavito 34

Many either retired in their early 30s, or saw their playing time and performance drop substantially at this time. 

Dale Murphy, for example, hung around until 37, but 31 was his last really good season.

Eric Davis had a few outstanding seasons in his mid 30s but was beset by injuries most of the time.

Here's how the players who were still active at a given age performed in aggregate. 

Andruw_jones_2008_25564_image001_medium

In general the players who lasted a long time are the ones that had the higher wOBA (Davis, Sosa and Gant), so that makes the aggregate picture look better than it might otherwise.

So it appears that there are two possible paths for Jones to take. In the first, he's either out of the majors for good or getting a handful of mostly mediocre at-bats between now and 2011.  In the second, he rebounds and performs at a high quality level for another 6 or 7 seasons. 

Based on what we know about Jones (the precipitous decline, the questionable work ethic), the first path seems more likely.

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