Monday, January 18, 2010

The Crystal Ball '10: Adam Jones

According to, these are the four most similiar batter to Adam Jones through the age of 23:

Corey Patterson 
Junior Felix
Carlos Beltran
Dave Winfield

Now that's a wide range of future outcomes.

But unlike most of these players, Jones has steadily improved at the plate in each full season. Only Dave Winfield can make the same claim.

Some key stats:

Adam Jones

            AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS   BB%   K%    ISO  
2007       .246  .300  .400  .700   5.8  32.3  .154
2008       .270  .311  .400  .711   4.6  22.6  .130
2009       .277  .335  .457  .792   7.1  19.7  .180

Those are great signs for the future. Not only are his traditional stats getting better, his peripheral stats are heading in the right direction too. That means the production is no fluke.

On top of all of this, he's a damn good centerfielder. In terms of UZR, he wasn't the best centerfielder in the American League and based on last year alone he probably wasn't deserving of the Gold Glove that he won. But over the last two years I believe he is the best centerfielder in the AL and maybe even in all of baseball.

Many Oriole fans want to mortgage the farm to get Adrian Gonzalez away from the Padres and given the surplus of outfielders in Baltimore and the fact that Jones is from San Diego, Jones would probably be included in any package that brings Gonzalez east. But I think that Jones has a very good chance to be just as good a hitter as Gonzalez in two or three years. His power was very good at age 23 and you could project him to hit 25-30 home runs by the age of 27.

He's a special talent but I am a bit hesitant to predict another quantum leap forward at the plate like last year. Look for a .282/.340/.465 line from Jones and hopefully a fully healthy season.

No comments: