It’s time for another dose of some reality. Or is the optimism that I’ve been hearing the right trait of thought when it comes to Adam Jones? Read on to find out. Check out the prior articles on Matt Wieters, Chris Davis, Brian Roberts, Alexi Casilla, Manny Machado, JJ Hardy, and Nick Markakis.
For years Adam Jones had the ceiling to be a good average, high power, middle of the order bat. He finally put it all together and did it in 2012. .287, 103 Runs, 32 home runs, 82 RBI’s, and 16 stolen bases, ranked him 6th in the MVP voting. He also won his second Gold Glove and appeared in his second All-Star game. He carried the team offensively to the playoffs. What is the optimism now? That he will do it again. The consensus seems to be that most people just want Adam Jones to repeat his 2012 numbers. Asking for even more than that would be silly right?
A repeat should be the goal. Jones reached his ceiling. What are the odds that he raises those numbers from last year? Very low. Those are already tough numbers to sustain. A lot mentally and physically will go into his attempt to repeat. If the team is not as successful as last season, will he mentally be as motivated to produce those numbers? If the team isn’t as good as last year, will the supporting cast around him lack the statistics to support his repeat? If the team is just as good as last year, and other guys improve, will he feel as much pressure? If the pressure goes away do his numbers drop? Or does that help him? A lot of things really need to go right for Jones to repeat. Here’s the good thing….I think he will.
The key is consistency. While looking over his splits, I see that Jones was consistent month to month. He didn’t have large hot streaks, a good half, or good months. He was pretty consistent all year. This is great news long term. That kind of consistency tells me that his numbers aren’t going anywhere. They were legit. His average in itself has been consistent over the last three seasons. Somewhere around .287 is his new career norm. The batting average is not going to budge much, which is a good thing. He has also steadily improved upon his power numbers over the last few seasons.
His 30 home run status didn’t just come out of nowhere. It was earned. Which makes it much easier for him to repeat. Guys who explode onto the scene, like Chase Headley, and his 31 HR’s, are less likely to repeat, because they didn’t gradually reach that number. I wouldn’t worry about Jones, unless he gets injured.
Should we be concerned about him staying healthy? Before 2010 he could barely get over 130 games played a season. Since then he’s been relatively healthy, but the history of multiple injury plagued seasons should make you a little weary. If he were to go on a DL stint or two, I would not be surprised. Obviously, if that were to happen he surely would not repeat the same numbers he did last season. In my mind, that’s the only thing that can stop him. You can also expect great defense and solid middle of the order numbers. He is a true #3 hitter.
Don’t expect increased numbers, hope for a repeat. Based on the optimism I hear, that’s what people are wisely hoping for. If those are your expectations, expect for Jones to satisfy your desires again in 2013…..if health permits.
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