On the day Andruw Jones made his long-anticipated major-league debut in 1996, my 14-year-old self ran to the computer and looked up the message boards at Fastball.com (it looked like this, and it was awesome). I was convinced that Jones was Ken Griffey the Third, and I vaguely remember trying to tell off someone who posted, simply: "Lets dont put Andruw in the Hall of Fame yet."
We're nearly 15 years into the future, and Andruw Jones, having just signed with the Yankees, is about to play for his fifth team in five seasons. His career didn't quite live up to my initial expectations, then promptly took a nosedive in 2008, when it seemed that he suddenly, and completely, forgot how to hit.
Jones has since recovered somewhat, and since I'm apparently still 14 years old, I'd like to argue that Jones still has a shot at the Hall of Fame (or, more truthfully, a shot at a shot at the Hall of Fame). Meet me after the jump.
Here is what Andruw Jones' career stats look like as he enters the 2011 season.
He's going to turn 34 in April. Bill James' Hall of Fame Monitor, a formula intended to project the likelihood (not necessarily merit) of a player's induction, gives a score of 100 to a player with a "good possibility." Jones currently stands at 108.
That score, of course, doesn't take Andruw's likely 2011 role into account: the Yankees acquired him to serve as a bat off the bench, so he'll see a fraction of a full season's worth of plate appearances. Let's suppose he has a good year with the at-bats he's given. Perhaps he finds a DH spot elsewhere in the American League and hits 15 to 25 home runs a year for five seasons or so before he retires.
That puts him at around 500... you're writing this down, aren't you? Ahem. That puts him at around 500 home runs for his career. His batting average won't be impressive, and even if it were, one look at the BBWAA's failure to induct Jeff Bagwell is enough to know that he'd have to wait.
I suppose that what I'm really arguing is that Jones has a chance to be seriously considered for induction in a Harold Baines sort of way. Sorry, Andruw, I tried. Just know that in a sport nearby, they're still spelling "Farve," but everyone spells you as "Andruw." That has to mean something.