February 25, 2010

Garrett Jones

A couple days ago Chuck Finder answered questions on the PBC Q&A as to whether Garret Jones can maintain his performance.  Well, in a rare event on BTW, I am going to try and put some numbers together and let you come up with your own answers…Of course I will give my opinion as well.  After reading the Q&A I felt a need to postpone the 40 Man post until tomorrow night.

Garrett Jones has 2 seasons in which he has played in MLB, this includes a cup of coffee with Minnesota in 2007.  Below are his vitals from Baseball Reference.
Games 113
AB 391
HR 23
RBI 49
BA .276
OBP .351
SLG .522
OPS .872

If these numbers are extracted over 162 games, they look like this:
Games 162
AB 561
HR 33
RBI 70
BA .276
OBP .351
SLG .522
OPS .872

Now, we’ll look at his minor league numbers, taken from Baseball Reference.  I took his stats from the point he arrived in AA in 2004 on through his most recent call up to Pittsburgh in 2009.  After taking those numbers I averaged them out to also be at 162 games since the Minor League season is much shorter than MLB seasons.  His 162 game average from AA on look like this:
Games 162
AB 606
HR 28
RBI 106
BA .272
OBP .326
SLG .485
OPS .811

The obvious thing to note is his MLB numbers are considerably better with the exclusion of RBI.  Some of this improvement can be seen in his maturation as a hitter, his later minor league numbers show an improved eye at the plate by increasing his walk total while reducing his number of strikeouts.
The higher RBI numbers show he can drive in runs, his lack of RBI in 2009 can be associated with the fact no one was on base in front of him.  The few times they were, he did not drive them in, but he obviously knows how to hit by his Minor League RBI totals.

His batting average is also quite similar .276 in the Majors while batting .272 in the Minors.  He did have 2 seasons where he batted .244 and .238 in his first 2 seasons at AAA which brought his Minor League average down considerably.

Overall, it is reasonable to think he can maintain a .276 batting average at the Major League level, nothing in the minors suggest he is less than that.

His power increase can be viewed as him hitting his prime years, but his Minor League average may be more of the norm than what he had shown in his brief time in the Majors.  One added bonus for Jones is the short porch in right that was tailor made to his hitting style.

BTW Take:
I look for Jones to maintain around a .275 average and hit 25-30 home runs in 2010.  More than adequate numbers for a 1B/RF.  Much better numbers than the Pirates have been used to in either position.

Some people question whether a 28 year old breaking into the Majors can actually maintain or perform at such a high level.  Look no further than a 27 year old who broke in with the Pirates for a player who came up at a late age and excelled at an All-Star caliber.  Remember a guy named Freddy?  If a player is blocked on the depth charts, he can't perform at the MLB level.  A couple other guys with similar stories are named Brian and Jason, although they both were a couple years younger.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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