2012 was a good year for the Adam Jones. Not only did Baltimore have team success for the first time with Jones as a member of the organization, the Orioles CF saw the best production of his career to date. On top of everything else, he signed a 6 year $85.5M extension, locking in with the O’s through the 2018 season.
(You can discuss this post on the BSL Board here.)
Let’s take a look at how the 2013 season compared for Jones personally:
2012: .287 baa, 32 hr’s, 82 rbi, 34 bb’s, 126 k’s, 39 doubles, 3 triples, .839 OPS, .361 wOBA, (-5.5 UZR/150)
2013: .285 baa, 33 hr’s, 108 rbi, 25 bb’s, 136 k’s, 35 doubles, 1 triple, .811 OPS, .350 wOBA, (-7.9 UZR/150)
As the ’13 season was ending, there was a lot of commentary locally (and Nationally) of how this year was another step in the progression of Jones. Most of that talk was tied to his increase in his RBI. A closer look at his numbers show that they were pretty similar overall to ’12, but with some drops worthy of at-least mentioning.
(To be clear, his year-to-year numbers were pretty much identical through August, but a down September limited his numbers across the board.)
For the year, Jones walked a bit less (BB% dropped from 4.9% to 3.6%), and struck out a bit more (K% increased from 18.1% to 19.7%).
With him walking less, there was a corresponding drop in his on-base % (.334 to .318).
The slugging % went down 12 points (.505 to .493) as well.
In ’12, he had 161 ab’s vs. LHP and had a .799 OPS. In ’13, the OPS vs. lefties dropped to .732 in 199 ab’s.
Basically we see that 2013 was less about Jones reaching for new heights, and more of the same. Jones, who turned 28 August 1st, is a very good player. There are a lot of positives about his game, that should be recognized and enjoyed. Sometimes those can be obscured by frustrations with his limitations – namely his plate discipline, and play in Center.* My opinion overall with Jones is that I like him a lot for the player and guy he is. I try not to get overly down on him because he is not quite the player we wished he was.
(*Though I have to say that to the eye test, I thought he had a pretty good year defensively after struggling to begin the season. I think he made better decisions this year. He was more apt to hit the cut-off vs. trying to show off the arm and allowing runners to advance. I also thought he showed better range than he had in sometime. That said, the advanced metrics disagree. As mentioned above, his UZR/150 was -7.9. That was the 5th consecutive year where Jones’ play in Center was deemed negative. I’ve always thought his defense was not as good as the accolades he has received, nor quite as poor as the defensive metrics look at him. Somewhere in-between, and an average ish CF. Regardless, it is frustrating that he is not ‘better.’)
The team’s success over his contract will be one of the ways people judge Jones (even if that is not particularly fair to him). The more direct way will be looking at his output as compared to the contract.
In ’13 Jones had a fWAR of 4.2. Baseball Reference had his rWAR at 4.3. Baseball Prospectus had his WAR at 2.3. FanGraphs says that fWAR was worth $20.8M.
Will Jones provide $64.7M (His $85.5M contract – his $20.8M 2013 value) over the next 5 years? That seems like a realistic expectation at this point.
What thoughts do you have about Jones’ 2013 season?