I posed two questions to the writers of South Side Sox: 1. What are Andruw Jones' strengths and weaknesses?, and 2. How do you think Jones will play for the Yankees? Here is what the White Sox writers had to say:
U-God: 1. Strengths: While he'll never get the at-bats required to hit 30 homeruns again, he still has that kind of power as evidenced by his .246 and .255 ISOs the past two seasons. His BB% seems to be trending upwards (as so often happens with older players), allowing him a decent OBP despite his low AVG. Even with his diminished bat speed, he can still get around most fastballs. He can still be used positively in the OF, as long as it's as a fourth man.
Weaknesses: He strikes out a lot and seems to swinging for the fences more than he used to. His defense is nowhere even close to what it once was. There are some durability and conditioning concerns.
2. If the Yankees use Andruw Jones in a similar manner to how the White Sox and the Rangers have over the past two seasons, they'll get their money's worth easily. He's a very solid bench option for a mere $2MM plus incentives.
colintj: Caveat: I'm less certain about Andruw than Freddy. I think he's still a solid outfielder, probably a bit below average in center field. As a hitter, he's always swinging for the fences, but there were a few fastballs he put in the seats that surprised me. So the bat speed is definitely still there. His command of the zone is also good, but he struggles with offspeed stuff, which is where the big K rate comes from. At this point in his career, I think he's best leveraged by protecting him from RHP with good command and good breaking balls. Gavin Floyd or even maybe Freddy GarciaCC Sabathia, Blake Wood and Francisco Liriano were the last four victims of his bombs. The one commonality? Big fastballs.
Thanks again to the White Sox writers! I think Andruw will be an interesting player to watch this year, given the comments I have heard from Dodgers fans and these comments from White Sox fans.