You've got to love this time of year. Not only do we have spring training games- with plenty of non-roster invitees in addition to guys on the forty-man rosters- but we also have the World Baseball Classic going on, with major leaguers, minor leaguers, and has-beens filling out global rosters. In other words, it's like a Bowman baseball set come to life.
Signed by the Braves out of Wilemstad, Curacao at the age of 16, Ardley Jansen and fellow countryman Andruw Jones had more in common than just their initials, homeland, and organizational ties. Jansen, like Jones, was known for his power, defense, arm, and playing the game in the same effortless way as the former gold-glove winner. Likewise, he was known to have a contagious grin and charisma that compared to Andruw's.
"When I talked to Andruw in spring training, that is one of the things he said to me- that I should try to be better than he is, and that's what I'm going to try to do."~ Jansen, while at Class A Rome, 2003
Despite showing flashes of promise, Jansen could never find consistency- nor could he develop good pitch recognition. In eight minor league seasons in the Atlanta organization, Jansen appeared in 488 games- with all but 5 of them coming in Rookie, A, and High-A ball. His lone time spent at AA came in 2004 for Greenville, going 5-10 with a home run. His best season came in 2002, at Rookie-level Danville- where his slash line was .295/.341/.507 and he collected 10 homers and 44 RBI. He would later play for the Netherlands Antilles National team in the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup, as well as in the 2010 South America Games.