Andruw Jones, the former center fielder for the Atlanta Braves and other teams, was in Tuscaloosa Saturday signing autographs at Julio Jones Kia. Jones spent a few weeks with the Braves for spring training and says he thinks this year’s team has a chance to compete.
“They had a great spring training. They worked hard. They worked on a lot of stuff we wanted to work on for this year,” Jones said. “I think the main thing for everybody is if we stay healthy, we’ll be a competitor.”
Many Braves fans are counting down the days to when Ronald Acuna, the top prospect in all of baseball, will be called up to the majors. Jones said whenever that day comes, Acuna is absolutely ready.
“Talent wise, he’s ready. I think he just needs to keep continuing working on his skills and when he reaches the major leagues, he can help the team be what they always wanted to be,” Jones said. “It’s a matter of time there for the team to bring him up when they decide to.”
Jones appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this past year, receiving 7.3% of votes, which is enough to keep him on the ballot. He knows it is an uphill battle as a defensive minded player, but he feels he will have a strong chance as the years continue.
“I think you can talk with Greg Maddux and Smoltz and all those guys. All those pitchers are in the game because they pitch good and they count on their peers to play good defense behind them,” he said. “We’ll see what happens in the long run. I think people will start recognizing on it a little bit more, so we’ll see what happens.”