Jones recently passed the 2,000 hit mark (MLB/NPB combined) with a single in the 8th inning in a game for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles against the Nippon Ham Fighters. Jones, a 16-year MLB veteran who many believed to be a future Hall of Famer, signed with the Golden Eagles this past offseason for approximately $3.5 million dollars/¥300 million yen including signing bonus, base salary and performance bonuses.
Jones followed the news of the signing with a productive performance for the Dutch team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic with a trip to the semifinals and a loss to the eventual champion Dominican Republic. Jones batted 9-for-27 (.333) with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored while drawing five walks in a leadership role for the young Dutch team.
So far this season for the Golden Eagles, Jones has put up the following numbers:
Those aren't the best of numbers for the 10x Gold Glover but at the age of 35 and coming off of a numbers of years as a platoon player for The New York Yankees, I believe he is making the best of his opportunity in Japan.
It would remain to be seen whether Jones returns to MLB for the 2014 season or if he decides to continue playing in the NPB. Either way, Jones seems to be doing well for himself and is quite comfortable playing for the Golden Eagles.
I'll pop back to Japan to see how he's doing a little later in the NPB season.
For Further Reading:
- Click Here to access Andruw Jones' career MLB statistics from Baseball Reference.com
- Click Here to access Andruw Jones' career NPB statistics from the English language version of the NPB website
- Click Here to access the article from NikkanSports.com announcing the Andruw Jones signing by the Golden Eagles dated December 8, 2012
- Click Here to access Jason Coskrey's article Eagles slugger Jones gets his first taste of NPB All-Star Series from the Japan Times dated July 21, 2013