Jones relishing leadership role with Dutch

Jones relishing leadership role with Dutch

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It's easy to remember Andruw Jones as a 19-year-old hitting two home runs in a World Series game in 1996, kicking off an excellent Major League career. And more than 16 years later, it's easy to watch Jones as the sage veteran of Team Netherlands.

Jones, who now plays in Japan, was instrumental in recruiting the Dutch team for manager Hensley Meulens and has had an open-door policy in his hotel room throughout this World Baseball Classic run. He's also seen his brand of leadership evolve.

"I led by example when I played with the Braves," Jones said. "I never was outspoken. I went out there and played every day. And that's how I performed as a leader. The young guys come up, see you out there hurt or not feeling good, those are things that leadership is about.

"But now it's young guys who probably grew up watching you play and idolizing you and stuff, and now it's good to get in their ears and try to teach them the things you know so they can go out and perform at a high level."

One of those players is Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who will join the Netherlands for the semifinals.

"It means a lot [to have him here]," Jansen said. "Especially when I grew up watching him. I used to be a big fan of him growing up. It's awesome to see him play in the days I was growing up and now here he is."

Doug Miller is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.