Chipper Jones is a Hall of Famer Right Now

September 18, 2009 at 10:42 pm Leave a comment

Chipper Jones

“If I back up this year with the same kind of year next year, I don’t want to play the game. The game is not fun to me when I’m not playing up to my standards.” Those were the words of Chipper Jones just the other day.

Jones has had a tough time staying healthy the past six seasons. And while he has performed very well in each of those six seasons –this season is not as awful as some might think– he may retire after next season if he cannot return to what he considers his norm. So, the question that comes to mind when a great player like Chipper Jones utters the word retirement is: is he a hall of famer? I say yes, and on the first ballot.

Among switch hitters, Jones ranks third all-time in homers with 424, second in AVG at .308, fourth in OBP at .407, fourth in SLG at .542, third in OPS at .949, fifth in doubles with 469, fourth in total bases at 4208, fourth in walks at 1331 (only two behind Eddie Murray who is third), and third in OPS+ at 143.

His career numbers, switch-hitter or not, should be enough to get him in the hall anyway. On top of the numbers listed above, Jones also has 142 steals, more walks than strikeouts (1331/1219), 3741 times on base, 1438 RBI, 1448 runs scored, a wOBA of .404, and a postseason line of .288/.411/.459 with 18 doubles, 13 homers, 8 steals, and a 72/60 BB/K rate in 333 at-bats. Jones also won an MVP award (1999) and finished in the top 12 eight other times. Oh, and he was an above-average defender for his career.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jones is a first-ballot hall of famer. He has the credentials, he has been an iconic figure in his generation, and his name was clean in an era when steroids and HGH ruled the headlines. The best part is that Jones will continue to climb the leaderboards when he plays next season and possibly beyond. It will be a sad day the day Jones walks off the field for good but bet on seeing him give a speech at Cooperstown five years after he hangs up his cleats for good.

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