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Jim Powell (Atlanta Braves Radio Network broadcaster): I'm not suggesting he would go to work for NASA — but in terms of baseball intelligence, he's off the charts.
David O'Brien: Applied to baseball, he gets everything — he's a savant when it comes to memory. I can ask him about the game where he hit two homers in Chicago [2003 NLDS, Game 4]. I can ask about the first home run and he can tell me who the pitcher was, he can go through the pitch sequence. Man, it is frightening.
Jim Powell: I always wondered what kind of power he would end up with. You could see this was a batting champion waiting to happen, and I'm sure if he wanted to hit .350 every year of his career, he probably could've been a little bit more like Wade Boggs. He wanted to be a run producer — you could see he made the decision that he was going to be a run producer.
Chip Caray (FOX Sports South and SportSouth broadcaster): He's said [that] baseball is very, very easy in this regard: "I know what pitch I want to hit and when I get that pitch, three times out of 10 I don't miss it." That's really the essence of being a .300 hitter.
Ryan Langerhans (Braves Outfielder, 2002-2003, 2005-2007): He has an incredible mind for hitting and an incredible eye to see the tiniest of mechanical flaws.
Randy Wolf (Opposing Pitcher, 1999-Present; Jones batted .377/.493/.736 in 53 at bats against Wolf): I know he's always enjoyed facing me. For my first couple of years, I felt like he was nine for eight off of me. I just couldn't get an out.
Liván Hernández (Opposing Pitcher, 1996-Present; faced Jones more times than any active pitcher (75 AB)): You've got to mix the pitches — outside, inside — sometimes you've got to walk him. It's part of the game because he's so great ... You can see that his numbers are very good when he faces me. It's tough.
David O'Brien: He studies film, as much as anybody, and he'll go up there looking for that pitch. He'll wait, he'll have the patience to go deep into the count and if the pitcher makes a mistake and throws that pitch, boom. He doesn't miss it.
Randy Wolf: It's remarkable how many times in those situations where you may have had to pitch to him where he'd hurt you. I think he's just got that kind of confidence and that ability to want to be in that situation.
Ricky Nolasco (Marlins Pitcher, 2006-Present; surrendered Jones' 400th career home run): You could just be up and make a good slider down in and off the plate and he does a good enough job to keep his hands inside the ball and keep the ball fair. Most guys can't do that.
Liván Hernández: I think one [at bat] in the last inning of '97 in the playoffs — [NLCS, game five]. I put the glove on the ball [as Chipper lined out]. I got lucky with that one.
Ricky Nolasco: When you make a mistake, he rarely misses whether it's just a single or a homer. He was always a tough at bat, and for me in my career, probably the toughest at bats I've ever had were against him.
Liván Hernández: I think he's in the top five most difficult.
Randy Wolf: He's in the top three hardest outs.
Chip Caray: He's patient enough and smart enough to wait for the pitch he wants to get and he gets it. It's really fun watching him set up pitchers ... I think it's a dying art.
Not Just a Hitter
Tony DeMacio: Chipper's not only a great hitter; he's a great defensive player. He just does so much more. He brings so much to a ball club in how he plays the game.
Ron Gant: People forget how good of an athlete Chipper really is, because he was able to play shortstop and then make the transition to play third base and become one of the best third basemen of all time — not just offensively but defensively as well.
John Smoltz: I think he's underrated because he played in the field in a time when there's a lot of really good third basemen out there. He just never got the defensive respect, I think, from a Gold Glove situation.
Ron Gant: He's just as good as anybody defensively, especially making that bare hand play where you're running in on a dribbler or bunt. He bare-handed it probably better than anyone that's every played the game. He also played left field and did that well.
Joe Simpson (FOX Sports South and SportSouth broadcaster): It takes a certain mental toughness, too, to not pout about the sacrifice you're making by playing a position you may not be totally comfortable with ... He embraced it. He knew it made the team better. When Vinny Castilla came along he actually, I think, he volunteered to move.
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