No longer patrolling center field for the Baltimore Orioles, Adam Jones continues to have a big year for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
I miss the bubbles as he went to catch a routine flyball out in center field, I miss that smile, and I especially miss how much fun Adam Jones brought to the Baltimore Orioles. For 11 seasons, Jones was a mainstay in center field at Camden Yards, a fan favorite, and a true hero in the city of Baltimore. I miss him, but I’m happy for him.
The discussion over whether the Baltimore Orioles should have brought Adam Jones back is done. Watching O’s games would be a lot more fun and less like a chore this season with Jones out there, but he’s gone and the franchise is moving on. Jones is also moving on, having a fantastic season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, spreading his love of baseball (and pie) to a new fanbase, and proving a lot of people wrong, very wrong.
When Jones entered free agency, I was highly interested in knowing how other fanbases felt about their favorite team signing the 33-year-old five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner. A lot of fans were excited about the possibility of their team adding Jones as a bench piece, many wanted no part of him, claiming his career as a contributing player was over. Others proclaimed he was too slow, washed up, strikes out too much, or the analytics say he isn’t good anymore. Jones is proving them all wrong.
The Diamondbacks are currently 28-35, tied with the San Diego Padres for second place in the National League West (seven games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers). Jones has been a major contributor as the Diamondbacks find their way in 2019.
Appearing in 50 games, Jones is slashing .281/.332/.500 with 10 home runs, 33 RBIs, and 13 doubles. He currently owns a wRC+ of 115 and is worth a 0.7 fWAR, as of May 27th.
If he can maintain his 5.6% walk rate, it would be just the third time since 2008 in which he posted a walk rate higher than 5%. His current 14% strikeout rate is the lowest mark of his entire career. Jones also owns a .219 ISO, which is another career-high.
Put runners in scoring position for Jones and he brings them in. Jones is hitting .341 with a .977 OPS with RISP, logging six extra-base hits, 22 RBIs, and eight walks compared to just five strikeouts.
He did find himself in a recent cold streak, going hitless in three-straight games to end a seven-game hitting streak. All Jones needed was a series against the San Francisco Giants. Arizona swept the Giants over the weekend, outscoring San Francisco 34-8. Jones went 6-11 (including a four-hit game on Friday) with a home run. He struck out just once in three games and drove in at least one run in each game (five total).
The “small-sample” talk is over at this point. We are 50+ games into the season. He may not be putting up All-Star caliber numbers, but he is having a big year and I could not be happier.