Long, lean frame; stallion build with lean muscle development throughout; sloped, broad shoulders; looks like a D-I wide receiver; a "looks good in a uniform" kid.
West Virginia Power (Low A, Pirates)
Plays with confidence; calm, quiet demeanor on the field; whispers of off-the-field makeup issues but nothing noteworthy in this look.
40; utility role
Mechanics: Tall, even stance; bat begins parallel to the ground with loose hands just off his ear; loads low with a hand hitch; long arms and aforementioned hitch lead to some swing length; good lift through the zone with a one-handed finish; bat speed is solid-average; powerful lower half; looks to lift and separate; big leg-lift trigger; displays good coil in his hips; lands open with his direction of energy to the pull side.
Approach: Pull-heavy approach opens up holes on the outer half; has obvious fastball holes in the zone and can be beaten with average breaking balls on the outer half; swing is geared for fastballs over the heart of the plate and on the inner half, though he can be beaten with velocity on the hands due to length in swing; aggressive approach; likes to swing early and often. Aforementioned weaknesses will be exploited as he climbs the ladder. Limited barrel control and pull-heavy approach will be exposed by upper-level pitching. Potential to be a .220-.240 hitter at the highest level with big swing-and-miss issues.
Lower half actions are geared for pull-side power; big leg kick gathers his weight on the backside and gives his lower half a running start, creating torque via upper/lower half separation; gets the foot down in time to create leverage with his front side; solid-average bat speed and slight uphill plane, in combination with the powerful lower half, results in plus raw power; hit a pop-up that registered 6.64 seconds (65-grade); hit tool will limit the in-game pop to average; sells out for power, but player could pop 15 or so home runs at the highest level despite the projected low batting average.
Plus runner; 3.8 seconds on a jailbreak; regularly 4.2 seconds to first base; long, athletic strides; baserunning acumen needs improvement; can be too aggressive on stolen base attempts; has the potential to steal 15-20 bases a season.
Currently playing shortstop but does not project to play the position everyday at the major-league level; can get to balls on either side due to long strides but hands are slightly stiff and actions can be long/loud with clumsy footwork; plays a bit like a bull in a china shop at the position; grade reflects below-average defense at shortstop, but player could be an asset in an up-the-middle utility role where he plays second, shortstop, and centerfield; could be an average defender in center field due to his plus speed and long strides.
Weak arm; low slinger slot; throws die as they reach the first-base bag with a hump; arm strength is not suited for the left side of the infield; will not be a huge issue at second base or in center field; have seen the arm around average in the past, but it was decidedly below average in this look.
Jones is currently a shortstop who will likely be bumped into a utility role long-term with plus speed, athleticism, and raw power but an underwhelming feel for hitting. An athletic specimen, Jones boasts highly impressive physical tools but doesn't project to play shortstop on a regular basis due to a weak arm, stiff hands, and questionable footwork at the position. While he possesses plus raw power at the plate, Jones has discernible holes in his swing and a power-hungry approach that will be exploited as he reaches the upper levels of the minors, limiting his in-game power to around average. Due to the concerns that he can't stick at shortstop and the projected limited utility of the hit tool at the highest level, Jones fits a utility profile, one that can play up the middle and not be an absolute liability at shortstop or second base on a short-term basis. In addition, Jones possesses the physical profile to be at least average in center field, a position he has played in the past and will likely get another shot at in the near future.
The raw OFP averages to 45, which is a below-average regular. The projected role is a role-4 utility type who can play up the middle with plus speed and hit for some pop off the bench. The risk is high due to the swing-and-miss issues exhibited as a 22-year-old in Low-A. Though the hit tool has issues, he should be able to hit in the .220-.240 range. If the bat falls much lower than that, he becomes more of a AAAA player.