He was here only one year, but Don Baylor, who died over the weekend, had a major impact on the Braves.
“He changed my attitude and changed my approach,” Chipper Jones said after winning the NL MVP in 1999.
Baylor had challenged Chipper to become more aggressive from the right side. In 1998, 32 of his 34 homers came as a left-handed hitter. As a right-hander, his slugging percentage was a pedestrian .403, more than 200 points lower than from the left side.
Under Baylor’s tutelage Chipper hit 15 of his 45 homers as a right-handed batter. He ended his career with 107 homers and a .498 slugging percentage vs. southpaws.
Baylor also helped Andruw become a more disciplined hitter. The year before Baylor’s arrival, Andruw struck out 129 times with just 40 walks. He nearly doubled his walks in 1999 while reducing his strikeouts to 103 and raised his OBP from .321 to .365.