Adam Jones’ Sneakily Good Offensive Season
The Orioles’ offense has been clicking on all cylinders so far this season. Manny Machado’s impressive sophomore year has been highlighted by an absurd number of doubles. He may be able to challenge the all-time doubles mark, but we’ll have to see if he can keep up this pace through the rest of the first half before getting too worked up about that.
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Chris Davis has an OPS just north of 8 million, and has been absolutely crushing the baseball. He’s in the conversation with Miguel Cabrera for the leading MVP candidate thus far, and with good reason.
Both gentlemen have posted fWARs of 3.2 thus far in 2013 which puts them tied for second in all of baseball. If you’ve been watching the games, this is of course no surprise as both men have been on fire virtually all season.
Another story that isn’t getting as much press is the truly remarkable offensive season that Adam Jones is putting together. Let’s look at the numbers really quickly; as of 5/30:
Jones is batting .311, which has him tied for 21st in MLB (tied with E. Longoria & others).
Jones has hit 10 HRs, which has him tied for 21st in MLB (tied with J. Votto & others).
Jones has driven in 35 RBI, which has him tied for 18th in MLB (tied with R. Braun & others).
Jones has scored 39 runs, which places him 8th in MLB (ahead of J. Upton).
Jones has stolen 8 bases, which has him tied for 22nd in MLB (tied with D. Pedroia & others).
Adam Jones is in the top 25 in Major League Baseball in Avg, HRs, RBI, R, and SB. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me.
Oh, and in case you were wondering. Only 1 other player is currently top 25 in MLB in all 5 categories: Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies.
It’s pretty clear that very few players can impact the game in every facet of hitting like Jones can. He’s quietly on his way to a 30-30 season, something that he’s shown flashes of previously. Jones has always been a good baserunner, but hasn’t stolen bases at the pace he’s going at so far this season.
There could be an argument made that Jones has been pretty lucky so far this season, and his .351 BABIP would seem to back that up. He’s also hitting line drives at a career-high rate. Not only that, but his GB% is up from last season, while his FB% is down. Since line drives and ground balls go for hits more often than fly balls, he might be able to sustain a higher BABIP than previously in his career.
Jones has provided a lot of value to the O’s on the basepaths.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Markowitz (Moose Milligan on the board)
It’s not just stolen bases either. Jones has been the second best baserunner on the team (behind McLouth) adding more value with his legs than he ever has before. This is from his stolen bases sure, but also taking extra bases when he can, and not making outs on the basepaths. This isn’t as exciting as a towering home run to right field or a screamer into the gap, but it helps to increase the potential output of the offense as a whole. Those little things add up over a season, and can really make the difference between an average offense and a superb one.
What Manny and Chris Davis are doing this year is truly incredible. What Adam Jones is doing is also incredible, if unspectacular like his teammates. The Orioles, and the fans, should be ecstatic that they have a young core like this to potentially build around.
It’s been said before, but this is a really good time to be an Orioles fan. The impressive seasons coming from Machado and Davis have been the talk of the town no doubt. Adam Jones though, practically a seasoned veteran for this team (at 27 years old), has shown that the club’s experienced centerfielder still has room to improve his already solid game.