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4/24/1972 (44 y, 10 m)
1990 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 1, Overall: 1, Team: Atlanta Braves
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Jones (knee) will start at third base for Friday's wild-card game against the Cardinals, foxsportsmidwest.com reports. (10/4/2012)
A Look Ahead to Next Year's Hall of Fame Ballot
Craig Edwards (FanGraphs)
ottoneu Cut Day Fallout
Chad Young (RotoGraphs)
Chipper and A-Rod: Saying Goodbye
Howard Bender (RotoGraphs)
Chipper Jones and The Couch
Robert J. Baumann (NotGraphs)
Chipper Jones Speaks in Tongues
Robert J. Baumann (NotGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Chipper Jones is not declining gracefully. There was his resurgent 2008 (.364/.470/.574) that made him feel young again. Then he went out in 2009 and put up his second-worst batting average and worst OPS since 1996. Cue the talk of retirement. Though his BABIP was lower than usual last year (.291, .321 career), it doesn't seem that luck torpedoed his season. His ground-ball rate (45.2%) was at a six-year high and he's only topped his 2009 strikeout rate (18.2%) once since 1996 (in 2004, his other worst season). Those two things seem fairly fixable, unless his huge drop off versus fastballs (+2 runs in 2009, +33.5 runs in 2008) belies a slowing bat. It's worth mentioning, though, that the average speed of home runs off of his bat (103 MPH) was the same in 2009 as it was in 2008.
The Year Ahead:
Even if the 37-year-old Braves third baseman rebounds a little next year, he's a good bet to miss time. He's settled in around 440 at-bats per season in the last five years, meaning that fantasy owners selecting him will need to pick another third baseman as a caddy. That makes Chipper more suited to a bench role in roto leagues, though 2008 proved that the upside of such a play is pretty decent. Because of his negative defense at third for three of the last four years, he may benefit from a move to the other corner of the infield, further decimating his already depleted dynasty league value. That the Braves are an improving team that can move into the National League elite with some offseason moves sets the scene for one last good season for Chipper. He's an interesting bench play in redraft leagues. (Eno Sarris)
With the end of his career rapidly approaching, and his ligaments on the mend, it's tough to recommend drafting Chipper Jones in most leagues. Perhaps in the final rounds of a deep league that counts OBP instead of batting average he might make a fine sleeper. He's walked in 14.5% of his at-bats in his career, and he's actually started walking more as he's declined (16+% the last three years), so he'll help in that category. The power is mostly gone -- his ISO has eroded from elite (.273 in 2006) to barely above average (.161 in 2010) -- and with his wheels getting creaky, his BABIPs have been on the way out as well (.280s the last two years, .315 career). In real-life ball, his walks, lack of strikeouts (14.8% in 2010, 15.7% career), and mediocre pop will give him value should he be able to return to most of last year's level of production. Without the batting average or the home runs, though, he'll be hard to own in standard fantasy leagues. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
Old Chipper Jones, he ain't what he used to be, ain't what he used to be. Larry Wayne has seen his declining wheels affect his power and speed to the point that he doesn't put up the batting averages and power totals most fantasy players need from their third basemen, but it's been quite a career and he's still useful in the odd league.
Jones has made it known that he plans to play at least one more season, so he'll be out there again in 2012, a year where he will turn 40 in April. Despite the creaky joints, Jones managed over 500 at-bats in 2011 and even registered a resurgence in his isolated slugging at .196 -- the highest it’s been since 2008. When on the field, Jones still has value because of his occasional home run and ability (or opportunity) to drive in runs. But as far as your fantasy draft goes, Jones should only be selected in late rounds as emergency insurance if you’re not comfortable with your current third basemen. At his age and given his history of bumps and bruises, he’s a difficult play when you never know when he’ll take the field. If he’s healthy for another 120+ games, you can bet on another .275/.350/.460 season with 15+ home runs and 70 RBI. Too much risk for too little reward. (Michael Barr)
The Quick Opinion:
He’s had a terrific career, and if you’re a gambling sort, Jones can tick off the counting stats nicely. But his fantasy usefulness is only when he’s on the field, and age isn’t on his side. Leave Jones for another manager’s migraine.
Chipper had a dazzling final season and was useful in daily leagues where you had the opportunity to sit him on his days off, but as a retired player he won't be helping any teams this year, in fantasy or reality. (Ben Duronio)
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Updated: Friday, February 24, 2017 3:32 AM ET
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