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Is Adam Jones going to keep hitting?

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I hate it when I start researching a player and his date of birth says #/#/1985. Like whoever I’m researching, I’m also 24 years old but I haven’t accomplished nearly as much. It makes me feel like shit.

So that’s probably why I hate the Baltimore Oriole’s Adam Jones. The little jerk is 6 months younger than me and he’s on the verge of superstardom, playing the game I love while making oodles of money. He probably doesn’t appreciate what he gets to do on a daily basis while I toil away miserably in some dead-end food and beverage job. In some strange way it really hurts me on a visceral level.

Jerk.

But I can’t deny that Adam Jones is a good player. Is he as good as advertised based on MLB’s first two weeks though?

Probably not.

Jones already has 12 K’s in 43 at-bats. Albert Pujols has 3 K’s in more AB’s. Miguel Cabrera has 7 in more. Carlos Quentin, who had an absolutely miserable first week, still only has 6 in more AB’s. In order for Jones to take that next step, he needs to cut down on striking out and increase his pitch awareness. It’s a problem that followed him throughout the minors and will continue to haunt him. His average will regress very quickly, very soon.

Jone’s power last year was indicative of what he’s capable of. Scouts give him 20-25 homers annually. Truthfully, I’d go on the optimistic side of that plus five if his plate presence improves and matures over the course of this season. He’s become much stronger since joining Baltimore and I’d look for that to translate into extra base hits sooner rather than later.

The most encouraging facet of Jone’s game is his stolen bases. Last year, he swiped 10 through 132 games. In Spring Training this year, he snagged seven. He’s yet to steal this season, but has shown such increased confidence in his base running that I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s off and running soon. He’s been hampered by a hamstring injury this season, but took some time off and should be ready to run.

So, in short, I would look for Jones to improve on ’08 but become an average outfielder until at least 2010.

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Written by dylansharek

April 21, 2009 at 11:59 am

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