Braves hire Andruw as special assistant to baseball ops

Former All-Star to work with outfielders, aid in internal initiatives

February 29th, 2016

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As Andruw Jones spent the past week coaching and evaluating young outfielders, the Braves quickly gained the sense that they would like him to fill this role on a regular basis.

Adding yet another legend to their revamped front office, the Braves announced Jones will serve as a special assistant to the baseball operations department. This is the same title that the Braves gave to the All-Star outfielder's longtime Atlanta teammate, Chipper Jones, in December.

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"It's going to be fun," Andruw Jones said. "We're just trying to be a part of the organization that we were with for a long time and where we started. We're trying to help and rebuild it back to where it used to be as a competitive organization for a long time."

It is fitting that the Braves have welcomed the Joneses back into their organization just before they bid adieu to their current home. This duo significantly influenced the long stretch of success the Braves carried into this century, and in the process, they established themselves as the most productive players in Turner Field's history.

"We're happy to have [Andruw] back," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's been terrific. He's been an asset to Spring Training."

When the regular season begins, Andruw Jones will assist the Braves with some international initiatives, but his primary focus will be to provide assistance to some of the clubs young outfielders. The 10-time Gold Glove Award winner has gotten a taste of this responsibility, as he has spent the past week working with Mallex Smith, a talented young center fielder who could reach the Majors at some point this season.

"We didn't [define] how many times I'm going to be on the field and how many times I'm going to go down to the Minor Leagues to see the guys down there," Jones said. "It's up in the air. Right now, we're just in Spring Training trying to help put the team together, so that when they go back north, we've got a solid defensive outfield and a solid team."

While playing for the Braves from 1996-2007, Jones never shied away from the chance to speak his mind. This trait has proved valuable as he has had the chance to evaluate all of the outfielders in camp. He recently told Gonzalez that he believes Hector Olivera is more than capable of making a smooth transition from third base to left field.

Jones earned five All-Star selections and captured 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards while playing for the Braves. He won the National League's Hank Aaron Award and finished second in National League Most Valuable Player Award balloting after he hit a franchise record 51 home runs in 2005 -- the same year the Braves won the last of their 14 consecutive division titles.

"I'm trying to teach the kids the right things," Jones said. "That makes me happy. So I think that is why this decision was made."