The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Batting Practice and Infield

ESPN's Buster Olney wrote an interesting piece today about Andruw Jones and his defensive abilities. While I know that many of you like to debate this ad infinitum, it's hard to question that Jones is an outstanding defender. The debate lies in how great of a defensive player Jones is.

I've always enjoyed watching Andruw Jones play, particularly in person. On a few occasions I've made the trip up to Atlanta to see the Braves in person and whenever (wherever too) I see them I like to arrive in time for batting practice (actually I like to do that regardless of who's playing). Most teams don't take infield anymore, but if they did I'm sure Jones would be a pleasure to watch. One of the fun quirks with Andruw during batting practice though is that he occassionally takes ground balls at shortstop. To my untrained eye, Jones always appears to be a fluid fielder with abilities that could make him a gold glove infielder if he were ever given the opportunity. That's not a move that I'd expect to see the Braves make anytime soon, but you never know. To see him as a defensive replacement sometime or to be shuffled around like Miguel Cabrera was for the Marlins in last year's playoffs would not surprise me in the least.

So if you're ever going to a Braves game, do yourself a favor and show up early. Just make sure to keep your eye on Jones when he's in the field and not just at the plate.


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