Friday, August 21, 2009

What comes next for Garrett Jones?

Garrett Jones (Pirates) has cooled off a bit since his great start to the season after being called up in July (10 HR in first 80 at-bats, 3 in his next 84).

Overall: 164 AB, 181 PA, .299 BA, .622 SLG, 13 HR

Since 1900, which players in their 1st or 2nd year in the league have finished with more than 200 Plate Appearances, .300 BA and .620 SLG?

1929 Chuck Klein (Phillies) - Hall of Fame
1930 George Watkins (Cardinals)
1937 Joe Dimaggio (Yankees) - Hall of Fame
1937 Rudy York (Tigers)
1947 Ralph Kiner (Pirates) - Hall of Fame
1953 Eddie Matthews (Braves) - Hall of Fame
1959 Willie McCovey (Giants) - Hall of Fame
2006 Luke Scott (Astros)
2007 Ryan Braun (Brewers)
2009 Garrett Jones (Pirates)?

So far, its hard to say whether it's a one month blip or not. The best players to compare him to on the list are Ryan Braun and Luke Scott, who are very different players.

Luke Scott is emerging as a solid but unspectacular major league player. He was a 9th round pick in 2001 by the Indians and bounced around a bit before his 2006 breakout season with the Astros (.336, 10 HR, 37 RBI in 249 PA). Now with the Orioles, he is putting together a decent career, with 43 HR over his last two years in Baltimore.

Ryan Braun was the 5th overall pick in 2005 by the Brewers and shot through their minor league system, won the 2007 Rookie of the Year (34 HR, 97 RBI in 492 plate appearances). After almost 3 seasons in the league, he appears to be a perennial MVP candidate and possibly a future Hall of Famer if he stays healthy (97 HR in only 1525 AB, .305 BA, .581 SLG)

Garrett Jones was a 14th round pick in 1999 by the Braves. He made it to the league in 2007 with the Twins and only hit .208 over 84 PA. He didn't even make the Pirates roster out of Spring Training this year. It's hard to know what to make of him, because he could become a decent player with occasional power surges like in July, or he could continue to surprise and become a star. He will certainly get a lot of playing time being on the Pirates.

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