Is Adam Jones poised for a big May?
Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones entered Wednesday’s game hitting .252 with one home run in five weeks, this after consecutive 30-plus homer campaigns plus enough stolen bases to matter earned him second-round status in ESPN leagues. Naturally, fantasy owners were panicking, suddenly noticing Jones’ lack of plate discipline and believing it had become a problem. Well, that seems ridiculous. I’ll admit that Jones, a really likable fellow with terrific skills, is not someone I’d generally target because of his complete reluctance to work on his walk rate, but it works for him. The numbers prove it. And the two home runs Jones smacked Wednesday night should quiet the doubters a bit.
Now let’s be clear, Jones'’ hacking approach isn’t for everyone. I don’t own him on any teams, but it’s more because others targeted him earlier than I was prepared to go. In truth, he’s a proven commodity, having averaged 26 home runs, 82 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and a .283 batting average over a five-year span, which is just amazing considering he’s also averaged 29 walks and 117 strikeouts along the way. How does that even happen? He’s an anomaly, really. Last season, Jones was fourth in the big leagues in at-bats, and of the top 60, only Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar drew fewer than his 25 walks. Escobar hit .234 with four home runs in 2013. Jones hit .285 with 33 blasts.