Garrett Jones’ Arrival

Garrett Jones was drafted by the Atlanta Braves with the last pick of the 14th round in 1999 as a first baseman out of Victor J Andrew High School in Illinois. Jones failed to do much of anything at all in three years at Rookie ball and was dropped by the Braves in 2002. A mere three days later he was picked up by the Twins and sent to A ball where he proceeded to post a .610 OPS in the Midwest League. Despite that, Minnesota advanced him to High-A the following year, 2003, and then to Double A in 2004 despite still posting sub 700 OPSs.

Something clicked in Double A though and in 122 games in New Britain, Jones flipped out to hit .311/.356/.593 with 30 bombs. The year literally came out of nowhere as his previous high was a .756 OPS he posted in his third season in Rookie ball. 2005 saw Jones moved up a level for the fourth consecutive year, to Rochester. Jones backslid there to a .741 OPS. For the next three years, through last season, Jones would remain starting in Triple-A, posting .733, .807 and .821 OPSs.

A Minor League free agent this winter, Jones signed with Pittsburgh and resumed his Triple-A career in Indianapolis. He continued his modest gains, hitting .307/.348/.502 until getting the call up to Pittsburgh on July 1st with the trade of Nyjer Morgan to Washington.

Given his first regular taste of starting in the big leagues, Jones has certainly seized the opportunity. To be clear, Jones is DH-material in the field, but right now his bat is doing all the talking. In 19 games so far, and 84 trips to the plate, Jones has 26 hits, a whopping 17 for extra bases including 10 of them for home runs. His seven walks to 12 strikeouts represent a career best BB/K ratio too. Jones’ current line stands at .342/.398/.842!

He is certainly not going to keep this up, but it is an really interesting story for a guy who spent three years being unable to hit his way out of Rookie Ball and four years being unable to hit his way out of Triple-A.




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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

14 Responses to “Garrett Jones’ Arrival”

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  1. fili says:

    35.7% HR/FB. Wow

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  2. longbeacchyo says:

    And look at his BABIP… only .296!!! It’s not like he’s been getting all that lucky.

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  3. Dave Davidson fan says:

    He’s one of the only two reasons to watch Pirates games at this point (the other is McCutchen). He’s no Brad Eldred type, IMO. He can see the ball, hit offspeed stuff, and has some speed. Two hits and a stolen base tonight. It will be interesting to follow this story.

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  4. Mr. S says:

    Seems like every hit he gets is scorched. This guy could be really exciting for a while.

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  5. crd says:

    Weird batted ball data so far data though. Even the .296 BABIP might be a little lucky, given that his line drive rate is only .125. And 35% HR/FB is pretty insane. But not a single pop up.

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  6. The A Team says:

    Surprised the Kevin Maas comparison hasn’t been made yet. The homerun numbers provide a nice comparison at least…

    Maybe some club can be fooled into thinking he’s worth a decent prospect.

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  7. Pete says:

    This guy has been really impressive in his short time in the major leagues. He can REALLY crush the ball. However, judging by the fact that he’s literally hitting better than he ever has before, I’m guessing this isn’t sustainable. Too bad, because Pittsburgh fans deserve something to get excited about.

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  8. Of course he’s going to have a lower BABIP, considering 10 of his 26 hits (now 28) have gone over the fence.

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  9. twinsfan says:

    This is karma for years of ridicule from elitist Twins’ fans.

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  10. lester bangs says:

    “He’s not going to keep this up.” Thanks for that bold prediction. How about making a specific guess, por favor? What do you see the rest of the season?

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  11. Ezra says:

    .283/15/28

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