OF Adam Jones
As I noted, Adam Jones was the centerpiece of this trade, as he was told by the Mariners. Jones was the Mariners' first round pick in 2003 (37th overall), and quickly sped his way through the Mariners' organization. He only needed a short season with Everett, and after playing Fall Ball, he encountered his first test at the age of 18, with Wisconson in the MidWest League, where he had solid numbers 11 HR 72 RBI .267/.314/.404. The next season, at the young age of 19, he started at AA, and established himself as a top prospect. His stats for that year, getting 271 AB's at High A and 228 at AA, were 17 HR 70 RBI .275/.328/.456 1with 6 SB. He continued to be noticed. He came up to the Majors, but was blown away. So, at age 20, he was with AAA Tacoma, where he shined once again, hitting .287/.345/.484 with 16 HR, 62 RBI and 13 SB. He improved his discipline behind the plate, and continued his improvement on his deffence. ESPN's Keith Law had this to say about Adam Jones:
He's an exciting player. Outstanding defensive center fielder with a 7 arm (2-8 scale, 8 is the best) and tremendous range. At the plate he's got a very quick bat and average power already, projecting plus in the future, but struggles some with pitch recognition and can be beaten with breaking stuff. He's going to be a star, but he's the type of guy who can have a lot of ups and downs as he adjusts to big-league pitching, especially since he hasn't really been challenged in the minors.
Adam Jones was given a B+ grade by John Sickels in his 2007 Baseball Prospect Book. He notes that Jones had significant strike zone issues in his first exposure to the majors, which must be fixed if he wants to have some long term success. John also advises that Jones has a great glove, and runs the risk of being miscast as a leadoff hitter.
My take on Adam Jones: A player who is too good for the minors, but needs a bit of improvement if he is to suceed in the majors. He has the potential to be a star for the next ten to fifteen years. He has an above average glove, and an amazing arm. He has great speed, but may not be quite qualified enough to be a leadoff hitter. He has above average power, but won't be the next Vladimir Guerrerro. He can hit for average, and may be able to go over .300 a few times. Maybe not in 2008, maybe not even in '09, but come 2010, Adam Jones will probably be a household name.
More to come...