42-Year-Old Third Baseman – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Chipper Jones in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Chipper Jones Contract Information:
Signed a three-year contract extension with the Braves in March of 2009, good through 2012.
Jones officially retired upon the conclusion of the Braves' season, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
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Chipper Jones: MLB Games Played By Position
Chipper Jones Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Chipper Jones: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Chipper Jones.
Jones played 126 games and pretty much duplicated his production of the previous two seasons on a per-game basis (.814 OPS vs. .807 OPS in 2010 and .818 OPS in 2009) at age 39 despite coming back from a major knee injury. Jones amazingly returned just eight months after tearing the ACL in his left knee to begin last season on time. He struggled to stay in the lineup as the recovery of his left knee caused his other knee to have problems as well and he had surgery during the season for a meniscus tear in his right knee. He also missed time with hamstring, groin, quad and adductor strains. Jones has taken a step back at the plate when in the lineup the last three seasons, failing to hit over .300 or over 20 home runs. However, he still draws walks at a good rate and his power, while not close to his prime, actually increased last season after a two-year decline. Jones is set to begin the season as Atlanta's starter at third base. It's not clear how many games he'll be able to play when he turns 40 this season, but he still offers above average production at the plate when in the lineup.
We may see the end of Jones' Hall of Fame career in 2011 as he suffered through the worst season of his career before season-ending knee surgery. His status as an everyday starter - and whether he'll decide to retire - is uncertain as spring training approaches. After the second worst season of his career in 2009, Jones struggled again in the first half by hitting just .252/.378/.393. Jones still showed a strong ability to draw walks the last two seasons, but his power has declined precipitously (his percentage of extra-base hits the past two years is far lower than the prime of his career). Jones suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in August. He had surgery and hopes to be ready for the start of spring training, but it typically takes a full year before players are ready to return from similar knee injuries. Early last year, Jones had talked about possibly retiring after the 2010 season, but he said he'll come back for one more year. Still, if he has a setback in his return from knee surgery or if he's deemed not viable to win back his regular third base job, it's possible he could retire. Atlanta already made contingency plans by trading for Dan Uggla, with Martin Prado ready to play at third base if Jones isn't ready by spring training. If Jones is able to return at third base, he still has a strong eye at the plate, was still fielding his position well before the injury and has been plagued by a low BABIP the past two years -- so there's some upside. However, the future is usually not bright for older players (he turns 39 in April) who are coming back from major knee surgery and two below average seasons.
Jones enters 2010 as Atlanta's mainstay at third base, but isn't the usual blue-chip asset in the lineup after the second-worst season of his career. Of all the possible scenarios for Jones' 2009 season, a year where he stayed healthy and struggled at the plate seemed the least likely outcome. But a year after winning his first NL batting crown and posting the second-best OPS of his career (1.044), he hit just .264 with the second-worst OPS of his career (.818). Jones suffered through the usual assortment of minor injuries (thumb, elbow, toe, groin, oblique), but those kinds of ailments never hurt his production in the past once he made it back into the lineup. It's possible father time has caught up to Jones as he'll turn 38 in April. He was last among NL regulars in range factor at third base and had the lowest fielding percentage of his career. Still, there's been no talk of him moving away from third base and he still is just a year removed from being a player with great power and plate discipline. While the usual caveats apply about injury risk (he played over 140 games last season for the first time in six years), the second-lowest batting average on balls in play in his career (.291) along with continued strong plate discipline suggest he'll rebound.
With Barry Bonds out of the game, Jones may be the best hitter in baseball on a per-at bat basis. He won his first National League batting title by hitting a career-best .364, while he also led the NL in on-base percentage at .470 and had the second best OPS in baseball at 1.044. Injuries remain his main problem, of course, as he played just 128 games due to shoulder, back, knee, hamstring and quad injuries. Still, it was the second most games he's played in the last four years. He's still an above-average third baseman with the second best range factor among regulars in the NL, which keeps him from moving to first base to reduce stress on his body. Fantasy owners know what they're getting in Jones at this point: power, batting average and a high injury risk that's not going to get any better this season as he turns 37. He may be the ultimate high-risk, high-reward player.
Jones showed last season that when healthy he remains one of the premier hitters in the game, posting an OPS over 1.000 and finishing second in the NL batting race. He played over 130 games for the first time in three seasons, which helped him score more than 100 runs and record more than 100 RBI for the first time since 2003. He'll remain at third base for the Braves this season as a move away from the hot corner to reduce wear on his body looks unlikely with Mark Teixeira at first base. At age 36 next season, his injury risk looms large, but he's still one of the top third basemen in the game.
Jones can still hit when healthy. His 1.005 OPS was the third highest of his career. But he missed more than 50 games for a second consecutive season due to injury. Foot, oblique, knee and ankle injuries sidelined him at various points last season. Over the past two years Jones couldn't stay healthy with frequent injuries all over his body. Despite his body breaking down, there hasn't been talk of resting him regularly or perhaps moving him to first base. He'll remain the starter at third base as a result. While Jones' production at the plate isn't in doubt, his injury risk looms large.
Jones played the fewest games of his career last season as he endured a second consecutive injury-plagued season. He missed time due to a strained right rotator cuff, a torn ligament in his foot, a strained oblique muscle and a bruise on his left foot. When healthy, Jones showed his bat is as potent as ever with a 1.200 OPS in April (the only month he was at full strength) and he still had a strong .296/.412/.556 line overall. While Jones' production at the plate isn't in doubt, his injury risk looms large. The move from the outfield back to third base was supposed to reduce the wear on his body, but Jones continues to break down all over his body and all around the diamond. While a move to first base may have helped reduce his injury risk, the Braves traded top third base prospect Andy Marte in the offseason and signed Jones to a contract extension through 2008. As a result, he'll remain the starter at third base and will be a high-risk, high-reward player this season.
Last year Jones had his worst season since his rookie year, slugging just .485. He struggled with a slightly torn right hamstring in the first half but rebounded when healthy after the break with a .939 OPS and 18 HR. Part of the revival was a midseason move back to third base, which he said reduced the strain on his legs and boosts his fantasy value for 2005. Jones still demonstrated power and patience in an off year, so he should rebound. He could move to first base or the outfield again if Andy Marte is ready for the majors this year.
Chipper has become one of the most consistent run producers in the majors even if his numbers have fallen slightly the last two seasons. Jones failed to hit over 30 home runs for the second consecutive season, but has hit over .295 with more than 100 RBI for eight straight seasons. There are few reasons to think his career is in any kind of decline, other than his steal totals, which may never climb back to double digits. Last season may be his floor, so he could be a nice buy for 2004.
Jones is less valuable for fantasy players now that he doesn't qualify at third base, but his bat didn't suffer from his move to left field. Sure, he hit fewer than 30 home runs for the first time in five seasons, but he maintained his superstar level of production in other areas. His power drought was also isolated to the first half of the season as he hit 17 homers after the All-Star break. The double-digit stolen base totals are probably a thing of the past, but this may be the year you actually get Chipper cheap since people will focus on the homer total. There's also been speculation he could get time at third base again with Vinny Castilla's struggles. However, Braves management seems committed to keeping him in the outfield to reduce the wear on his body.