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Compared to a Legend

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If you were to compare some of your favorite Braves to some of history's favorite baseball legends, who would they be compared to? Below are a few brief comparisons between some current Braves and the baseball greats I think fit them best. Andruw Jones Who would you compare Andruw too? Mays? Perhaps Aaron? Try Reggie Jackson. Both Andruw and Reggie have been critized as stubborn pull hitters who could have much better offensive numbers if they would take shots at the opposite field, and they have very similar offensive numbers (percentages):
 
A. Jones    
R. Jackson    
  AVG  
.268
.262
  OBP  
.342
.356
  SLG  
.493
.490
  OPS  
.835
.846
  PA/HR  
21.1
20.3
  PA/K  
5.3
4.4
Jackson hit home runs and struck out more often than Jones does, but Jones stays healthy and started at a younger age. If Andruw plays past the age of 40 as Reggie did, Jones should marginally outperform Jackson's career numbers, but only because he'll come to the plate hundreds more times than Jackson did. However, Andruw still has plenty of time to get better -- or worse -- and distance himself from looking like Reggie Jackson before he's finished. Chipper Jones Although there may be a couple of legends whose numbers will stack up more closely with Chipper's in the long run, almost everyone compares him to the only switch-hitter with more home runs: Mickey Mantle. It will take Chipper longer to hit as many home runs as the Mick hit, but thanks to hundreds more doubles in the long run and otherwise consistent numbers, they both will be remembered as the two greatest switch hitters to play major league baseball -- at least until another great one comes along. Consider these numbers:
 
C. Jones    
M. Mantle    
  AVG  
.308
.298
  OBP  
.404
.421
  SLG  
.541
.557
  OPS  
.945
.977
  PA/HR  
21.6
18.5
  PA/K  
7.7
5.8
If Chipper manages to play as many seasons as Mantle did, his career totals will look very similar to Mantle's, except Chipper will have come to the plate a couple thousands more times and probably hit 300 more doubles than the Yankees great. Chipper also will not strike out nearly as much as Mantle did. These should be the only significant differences between them, just enough for a hearty, futile debate over which will be remembered as the greatest switch hitter in MLB history. John Smoltz John Smoltz is one of only two pitchers in the history of baseball to earn 20 wins and 50 saves in two different seasons. The other should be no surprise: Dennis Eckersley. Because Eckersley pitched for 24 seasons, it is unlikely that Smoltz will equal his 197 wins (Smoltz has 163) or 390 saves (Smoltz has 114). Smoltz will not appear in near the number of games that Eckersley did (1071) or pitch as many innings (Smoltz is about 600 behind at 2631). What Smoltz will do is finish with a better ERA, more strikeouts (currently 72 behind). Here are some stats:
 
Smoltz    
Eckersley    
  ERA  
3.29
3.50
  BAA  
.232
.246
  WHIP  
1.17
1.16
  K/BB  
3.25
2.90
  SV%  
91.9
<88.2
  GS  
361
361
Smoltz was a much better starter in the long run than Eckersley ever was -- Smoltz won his Cy Young Award in 1996 as a starter; Eckersley won his in 1992 as a reliever -- but both converted to a closer after 12 seasons in the majors due to an inability to make 100 pitchers per night. Smoltz probably resembles dozens of other starters better than Eckersley, but with a lack of legendary pitchers of the past with the bullpen experience that Eckersley had, I had no other choice. Disagree? Leave your comments and supply better options!
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