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John Jaha

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John Emil Jaha

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[edit] Biographical Information

John Jaha was a talented player whose career was often derailed by injuries. He played ten seasons in the major leagues, all with the Milwaukee Brewers and the Oakland Athletics.

Jaha was born in Oregon and went to high school there. He was signed by the Brewers and scout Dick Foster as a 14th round pick in the 1984 amateur draft, and began his professional career in 1985. He showed flashes of brilliance in the minors, where he labored for a long time before coming to the majors. In 1986, he posted numbers of .318~/.465/.558 in the Northwest League. In 1989, he had .292/~.429/.524 for Stockton in the California League and was named league MVP. In 1991, for the El Paso Diablos of the Texas League, he hit .344/~.437/.619. In 1992, with the Denver Zephyrs of the American Association, he put up .321/~.428/.599 and finally came to the majors that year.

On September 11, 1992, in his rookie season, Jaha stole four bases in a game against the Baltimore Orioles, tying the Brewer record for most stolen bases by a player in a game. Jaha showed a good deal of prowess as a base stealer early in his career -- especially for a firstbaseman.

Back briefly in the minors in Triple A in 1994, he hit .403 in 18 games. In the Majors in 1994, he ended April with a 1 for 24 slump.

As a major league player, his biggest years were 1995, 1996, and 1999. In 1995, in 88 games, he hit .313 with 20 homers and 20 doubles. In 1996, he had 34 home runs with a .398 on-base percentage. In 1999, he was Comeback Player of the Year, with 35 home runs and a .414 on-base percentage. He made the All Star team in 1999.

He was mostly a first baseman in the majors, but played about 1/3 of his games at DH.

Lifetime in the minors, he put up numbers of .301/~.430/.517. In the majors, he might have posted numbers as high if he had not suffered so many injuries. Even so, he drew many walks and had good power.

There is an interesting comparison, based on similarity scores. The second-most similar player to Jaha is slugger Jim Gentile from the 1960's. The most similar player is listed as Dale Long, but while the career totals may be similar, the shape of Long's career was different than that of Jaha.

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