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A New No. 1

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on July 12, 2006

It took all of 88 minor league games, but it has happened. Adam Jones has convinced me that he’s the best prospect in the Seattle Mariners farm system.

He’s sat atop the P-I hot sheet for awhile now, but took over that spot due to Jeff Clement’s injuries and subsequent surgeries, not because he had changed my mind on anything.

But Jones is the new No. 1 in my book, and while the formula will spit out the injuries to Clement as part of the equation, Jones has earned the top spot.

The kid is 20 freaking years old and hitting .277 in Triple-A Tacoma, where his home park is the third toughest stadium in the PCL in which to hit.

While he’s drawn just 25 walks all season versus 67 strikeouts, 16 of those bases on balls have come since June 3 and since that date, he’s fanned just 21 times while batting .336 with six home runs and 27 RBI.

Jones has also stolen 13 bases in 15 attempts and has made tons of progress in center field since the start of the year. He still makes that one mishap each series it seems, but instead of those balls going for doubles and triples or runners taking extra bases each time, Jones is still making plays on a good percentage of those line drives and fly balls he has misjudged.

He’s not ready for the big leagues, despite the possibility that the big club will rush him to the majors this year anyways, but he’s certainly putting some more doubt in the rear-view mirror about his long-term abilities to hit and hit for power.

When the season began, I pegged his power ceiling at about 25 home runs, with a slight shot for more in his peak years. Today, I’d be surprised now if he didn’t reach 25 long balls at least once or twice, and I’d put his chances at 30+ in the 15-20% range.

It will all hinge on his strike-zone judgment, plate coverage and pitch recognition, which are significantly better now than they were even six weeks ago. I don’t expect him to hit .300 too much – if at all – but the sky is the limit.

Best of all, Jones has shown great ability to learn and put what he’s learned to effective use in the batter’s box and out in center field.

Move over Mike Cameron and Reggie Sanders… right on out of the ceiling comp box and into the “if Jones reaches ‘half’ of his potential” column.

Maybe a better comp for Adam Jones is somewhere between Torii Hunter and Andruw Jones, the perennial all-stars.

I’m not against a September call-up, but he’s developing so nicely right now that it would be criminal to impede that at this point.

This is one prospect the club should leave in Triple-A — for now.


92 Responses to “A New No. 1”

  1. Digger said

    How do you play 6 games in a row (friday thru wednesday) with 4 starters each getting 4 days off between starts? (You don’t have anyone rested for tuesday). Or am I missing something?

  2. johnb said

    If Jones was ready defensively he could be in Seattle right now.

    He could use another year, and a half in AAA, but I could see him getting a Septemeber call up as a reward for having a great year in AAA.

    Could he win the job in Spring 2007?

    I don’t think that will happen, but I am penciling him for 2008.

  3. Digger… AFTER Tuesday they don’t need the 5th starter til Aug 7…

  4. KB said

    #2: I don’t know if they’ll wait until 2008. Right now 2007 looks like a battle between Jeremy Reed and Adam Jones, unless Choo makes some serious strides playing out-of-position.

    The question is, are they willing to give Reed another half season rather than rush Jones?

  5. marc w. said

    Totally agree, Jason. He’s opened a lot of eyes this year. I just didn’t expect this kind of batspeed – it really is freakish. That’s why his ‘ceiling’ for HRs has to be above 30 – he’s got an outside shot at 30 this year in the PCL in one of the toughest HR parks around. He’s still hitting mistakes, but who cares – the instant it hits the bat, you know it’s gone.
    I just can’t remember a prospect who learned so quickly. That’s what’s most exciting to me. Watching him the other day, he fought off 3-4 pitches that absolutely would’ve struck him out in May. No question. He’s gotten a bit better at pitch recognition and the control required to flick the ball foul (or dunk it into CF), and that means he’s not just hopeless vs. breaking balls. He’s still got a ways to go against lefties -he’s got a .504 OPS v. southpaws (and an 888 OPS against righties!). That ought to come with time -he’s got the advantage against them, so this isn’t the same thing as LaHair’s struggles. He just needs to see more lefties. When he gets a pitch, he’s hit the ball hard off ’em, but he’s struggling to make contact (9 for 70).

    Oh, and the minor league park factors here are really interesting. Tacoma has been, over 3 years, one of the toughest run scoring environments in baseball – of any classification. It’s fairer on XBH/HRs, but really limits hits and runs. Interesting.

  6. Physically, I’m very much in agreement with Dr. Detecto that he looks like Eric Davis. I remember seeing him in Spring Training after they’d drafted him, and thinking “This guy looks real good!” I always wondered what the USSM folks were missing about Adam Jones, because, IIRC, they saw him as a bust of a pick.

    He’s certainly vaulted upwards in his prospect status, and having seen him early on and as of late (though, of course, not NEARLY as often as you or others who frequent Cheney), I can tell he’s getting it in AAA. I do agree that he needs a decent amount of further polishing before he should get the Seattle call. September would be the earliest I’d like to see him.

    Out of necessity, though, I am afraid that the team will take a serious soul-search and potentially bring him on up. I do agree that he’s too young, and appears to me to not quite have Felix-esque makeup. That could, especially with Hargrove, do some damage to his long-term development.

    They’ve got the money to bring over Juan Pierre as a stop-gap, if they’re truly done with Reed (who really might benefit from some further time in Tacoma — which, of course, would hamper Jones’ development in CF, unless they moved Reed to DH or Corner OF). And, of course, they do still have the talent to trade. Maybe not precisely what Chicago needs, though…

    Say, is anyone ever going to use the PI chat room? I drop in occasionally and it’s always empty. Not that I don’t have work to do, but I’m excellent at multi-tasking 🙂

  7. Andren said

    It’s great to see his pitch recognition improving and there’s no question his batspeed is very good. For those that have seen him recently ‘has he shortened his swing?’ When I saw him in Peoria in March his swing looked super-long and exaggerated (see: Balentien). I think improvement in this area is essential to his advancement as it will tighten his approach and allow him more control on off-speed/breaking stuff.

  8. Digger said

    Jason-Sorry to hijack this (more interesting) thread for this. But if Meche then pitches wednesday the 19th, and the other three on fri-sun against Boston, then Meche can pitch again on the 24th against Toronto, but the guy (Moyer) who pitched on friday is not ready to pitch on tuesday. Same problem the next week. I too would like it if this wasn’t so, but I think it is.

  9. dnc said

    Snelling and Cruceta up would freaking thrill me.

  10. dnc said

    Also, how high do you think AJ (and Clement) currently rank in a look at all of baseball’s prospects? Has AJ moved into the top 25?

  11. Jman said


    baseball analysts thinks they both are top 25


  12. eknpdx said

    USSM Dave Cameron reporting Jones has been called up to the M’s.


  13. MT said

    Adam Jones to the Majors!

    Ohhh. I hope they really don’t mess with what ever confidence he’s been building… Good Luck Jones!

  14. Goose said

    Damnit Bavasi, not cool.

    It’s too early.

  15. Add me to the “Oh SHIT!” crowd…

  16. MatthewCarruth said

    Bah. I guess we’ll never know if Choo can be a major league player. Not that this wasn’t a good chance to give him 200 ABs to find out while Jones got to tear up AAA and groove his approach. No, that wouldn’t have been nice. Sure glad Everett is still the DH and Pineiro is still a starter.

  17. thr33niL said

    Snelling left in Tacoma is what chaps my ass about this. Yoda is ready.. Jones is not.

    The only think I can think of why they havent called Doyle yet is that if they bring him up with Carl still here and bench CRex, a collosal shit fit will ensue.

  18. Andren said

    17 That makes a lot of sense. Bavasi is probably trying to deal him and (surprise!) there are no takers.

  19. Jim Edmonds Fan said

    Probably a bit too soon for Jonesy (that IS him nickname now, like it or not).


  20. Knuckles said

    What, nobody wants to call him ‘A-DAMN! Jones’?

  21. Knuckles said

    I’m not wholly convinced that a callup would really screw up his development all that much, simply because the kid really does seem to have his shit together mentally. However, that assessment is based on written accounts only, I’ve never actually talked to the guy (although my boys have tried time and time again after Rainiers games, dangit). I’m more concerned that it creates a mess in both the OF and on the bench, potentially.

  22. marc w. said

    Wow. I guess we’ll see; I’m really interested to see how his defense translates. He’ll be overmatched early on, but if he can make the kinds of adjustments he’s made at AAA, he may start holding his own by the end of the year. It’s still the wrong move in my mind; I’m just hoping that Snelling forces the M’s to move Everett. I’m hoping that they’ve got something in the works on that front.

    Good luck to AJ.

  23. Grant said

    Well, hopefully they’ll platoon him with Choo.

  24. WAB said

    Wow…I’m in on the “Oh shit” crowd too Paul.

    Initial reaction: Apprehensive, but excited. I’m excited to see one of the org’s top ‘spects up in the big show…but damn. If this works out, great. If it doesn’t though and it stunts his development…boy, Bavasi’s gonna have a shit storm fall square on his head, and deservedly so.

    Snelling over Everett would’ve been a much better move IMO. What are they gonna do with Shin-Soo know? If he gets sent back down I’d imagine that his confidence will take a huge hit…

    I think I’ll postpone judgement though.

    Wow Wow Wow Wow!

  25. It’s a big risk, and the upside doesn’t match the risk, therefore I HATE the move.

  26. While I haven’t seen him as much as my co-blogger marc w has, I have seen him in person several times. He looked way overmatched earlier in the year, but has become one of the more confident hitters I’ve seen in Tacoma in a long, long time. Beautiful, quick swing that will probably take some adjustment to MLB pitching. Looks a ton like Eric Davis (agreeing with Dr. Detecto on this), and has most of Eric the Red’s tools (lacking, really, only in patience, which he recently seems to have developed more of).

    I am a bit concerned about how he’ll handle learning CF in Safeco. Depending on who you talk to, you’ll get a different prediction. In my view, he needs more time in Cheney specifically for adjusting into how to play the OF (having been a SS and a pitcher in high school). His arm is the best we’ll’ve had in CF for a long time, though. It wouldn’t surprise me for him to become an instant hit with the fans – either via gunning a runner down, or with a monster home run. Nor would it surprise me to see him struggle fiercely and have a ton of Ks to start his career (and look absolutely lost in CF).

    No matter what, though, I’m excited to see an exciting player added to the M’s roster. I truly wish him well!

    Here’s My Photo Bank Pix

  27. Digger… the problem here is that you aree assuming all four guys are getting four days OFF in between. That’s all. There is no confusion.

  28. eponymous coward said


    Go look at Eric Davis as a comp. The body types even match. 😉

  29. Actually, the body types do not match.

    Davis was 177 pounds and 22 years old when he made his major league debut. Jones is already 205 and says he wants to add another 10 pounds.

    That’s a 20+ pound weight differential… and they have completely different builds to go along with it.

    Davis was also much faster. He was swiping 50 bases a year in his healthys easons, even got to 80 one year.

    Jones’ game is much closer to Cameron, Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter than it is Eric Davis, and he’s filling out just like Cameron.

  30. Knuckles said

    Jason: What’s the risk that you see? My biggest concern is that it appears to be a crappy utilization of our resources. Sure, Choo isn’t really CF material, but he’s a helluva lot better than Willie Ballgame, and will get better with reps. By bringing Jones up early Bavasi et. al have managed to completely screw up the OF situation.

  31. MatthewCarruth said

    Platooning him with Choo makes zero sense.
    -You have two prospects and you wouldn’t be giving enough ABs to either
    -Jones would be the one sitting most of the time
    -Jones has terrible splits against LHP

    unless you’re advocating some weird reverse platoon, this just makes no sense.

    which means…

    hello CF platoon!!

  32. The risk is that now he’s done developing because he’s overwhelmed offensively. That’s a pretty large risk. If he fails over a month-long period of time and they send him back to Tacoma, he lost a month of development and has now lost tons of confidence.

    Bavasi said this spring that he wants his young prospects to face adversity in the minors, learn to deal with failure as a minor leaguer.

    Jones hasn’t done that because he hasn’t failed. And he hasn’t blown up the PCL to the point where it appears he can skate past facing failure in the majors, so that means one thing.

    Bavasi is wrong.

  33. And if Jones platoons, I’m going to write something bad about Bavasi and Hargrove every single day until he’s not platooning anymore.

    Don’t tempt me. I will do it.

  34. Knuckles said

    If you mean me advocating a CF platoon, I probably should clarify: hell no. If they are bringing up Jones to play CF, then give him the job and stay the hell out of his pocket. My concern is that Choo now has no place to play, really, and I don’t like the idea of him sitting on the bench while Raul continues to butcher the ball in LF, and C. Rex continues to, well, suck. Our best OF (under this current scenario, anyway) would be Choo, Jones, Ichiro with Ibanez as DH. However, that leaves no room for Snelling either. And if he gets brought up to rot on the bench, I’m really going to be pissed.

    On the bright side, if all of these moves somehow result in Hargrove getting fired, C. Rex getting DFA’d and Ibanez being permanently removed from the field somehow, then I’m a semi-happy man.

  35. Knuckles said

    Oh, and I can’t imagine why you’d need any prompting to write something negative about Hargrove every day.

  36. Haha, oh so true, Knuckles, oh so true.

    I’m still laughing at that one.

  37. marc w. said

    Yes, the most terrifying aspect of this has to be the fact that Hargrove is the manager. after the lengthy evaluation given to Choo, no one can have a whole lot of faith.

    I’m still more excited than angry – at THIS point; like JAC, if he’s platooned, I will seriously lose my shit – because I think Jones is the rare young kid that can handle failure. He’s shown that this year, and I think he HAS failed for a part of this year. He was utterly overmatched, and his month-by-month stats show it. Anyone who WATCHED him in May could see it. He didn’t get down on himself, and he worked out of it. That said, if he starts 1-12, THEN moves to the bench for some serious pine time, then yes, that’s a huge problem, and it’s a bigger downside risk than I may have bargained for.
    Damn, what would you give for a competent manager in this situation?

  38. Failing for 2-4 weeks is not the kind of failure we’re talking about here. Jones struggled for months at a time well before this year, but EVERY player does that at every level.

    When Bavasi said that about the prospects, he meant that he wanted them to feel like the world was caving in on them and they had to dig themselves out.

    Jones has experienced nothing like that at all.

    And imagine the difference in pressure in the bigs versus the PCL.

    It’s not even close.

  39. John Doe said

    Curto reported that Jones is in Toledo but will not play as he is being held out for undisclosed reasons by the Mariners. The last time this happened to a Mariners organization player, Bucky J. had his contract purchased the next day.

  40. Alex said

    So is Jones going to play at all in the Triple A All Star Game?

  41. Alex said

    Nevermind, my answer got posted just as I asked the question.

  42. Michael Sayler said

    WOW Adam in the show (maybe). Bummer for Choo…

  43. I think Choo is trade bait for a bullpen arm or more value on the bench.

  44. And it’s a done deal that Jones is going to the Majors.

  45. marc w. said

    “Failing for 2-4 weeks is not the kind of failure we’re talking about here. ”

    Failing for a solid month doesn’t qualify? Sheesh, there are guys like Kendrick who’ve never even done that! I guess I’m not clear on what you’re looking for. I’d say he failed for basically all of May, and for a good part of April. He brought himself out of it by learning to read spin out of the pitchers’ hand.
    Clearly, the differences between working out of a funk in AAA and MLB are night and day. But I think you’ve got to think that the shift from May-July is at least a little bit relevant here. It’s not going to mean he’ll hit .300 up there, and it doesn’t mean he’ll need the same amount of time to ‘get it’ in MLB, but I’m at least a little heartened that he’s capable of learning on the fly and at staying positive/confident.
    I mean, had Chris Snelling ever *really* failed when they brought him up in 2002? Obviously, Chris Snelling is/was a better pure hitter than Jones, but hell, at least jones has had some PCL seasoning: they grabbed Snelling from AA.
    I’m wary, but I think Jones (like Snelling) is the type of kid that can handle this. I’m not at all clear that Hargrove can handle this.

  46. It’s not that aprospect has to fail for long periods of time to be good in the majors, but struggling for a few weeks does not qualify, anyways.

    And what you see as struggling for a month isn’t anything more than struggling badly for 10-12 days to the point where his month-long numbers are bad.

    I’m staring at his daily splits and Jones simply hasn’t struggled for any significant time in A+, AA or AAA.

    You don’t want a kid like Jones, who is very likely to struggle in the big leagues right now, to experience that level of failure for the FIRST TIME as a rookie in the show. You want him to have had that experience in the minors so he knows how to handle it in the major leagues.

    Factually, Jones has NOT been there, done that – at all.

    If he hits .210/.240/.330 in his first two weeks, which i wouldn’t be surprised if he did, how can you expect a 20-year-old who has never had to deal with such adversity to handle such tough times?

    Simple answer: You cannot expect it in the least.

    I think he can do much better than .210, particularly early on, but I would not make any bets that he thrives in any fashion.

  47. mk said

    Value on the bench? Can that term even be used with Hargrove managing the Mariners? Value for other teams, sure, but not for the hometown 9..

    This team does need an arm though. I’m pretty worried about Soriano’s workload becoming too much, at least this year, and the mid relief work by Mateo and Woods has left much to be desired..

  48. StandinPat said

    Im hoping this means that Choo will find his way in left, Ibanez finds his way to the DH spot, and Everett finds his way into an IMAX movie about dinosaurs.

  49. Center Field Sports said

    I just got an email from Jones agent, he is leaving for Toronto in the morning from the AAA all star game, he will join the team there.

  50. WAB said

    Do you think that a Choo deal is imminent…or at least likely?

    What level of player do you think Choo would fetch? A 12th pitcher type, or a 7th/8th inning hold-down-the-fort guy?

  51. Not imminent, but he just doesn’t have a chance to be a regular here.

  52. Bilbo said

    Too bad because I wouldn’t mind him moving over to LF the rest of the year, especially if Snelling isn’t coming up soon.

  53. John Doe said

    Where is Brandon Morrow? Jensen is getting hammered for his third straight start?

  54. Jerry said

    This is just unjustifiable:

    -Jones is just starting to hit at AAA. The learning curve is still very very steep. They just cut it off prematurely

    -Choo is in Seattle already, and deserves a shot. Why rush one prospect when another is sitting there waiting for a chance.

    -Snelling is in Tacoma, and is more deserving of a roster spot than Choo or Jones. How does that work?

    -Ichiro, who probably has the best OF range of any player on the team, is playing a less important position in RF.

    -In rushing Jones, the M’s are taking a real risk in messing him up. Think Corey Patterson.

    -Bringing up Jones now, the M’s burn a year of his pre-arbitration time. He is very unlikely to play well. So they just wasted a valuable commodity (cheap service time from a top prospect) on a player who is not in a good position to contribute much.

    Bad Bad move. This is just dumb. I don’t know how you can justify it. It makes no sense at all.

  55. Matthew said

    “-Bringing up Jones now, the M’s burn a year of his pre-arbitration time. He is very unlikely to play well. So they just wasted a valuable commodity (cheap service time from a top prospect) on a player who is not in a good position to contribute much.”

    Not yet they haven’t. If they leave him up all year, perhaps, but there’s no indications yet that that’s the plan. Remember, this FO is at least, VERY aware of the arb clocks. They managed Felix and Lopez perfectly in that respect.

  56. bilbo said

    If Jones is going to start in CF beginning of next year anyway then there is no change to his FA time.

  57. Morrow was originally scheduled to start today, not sure why he hasn’t. I’ll make a call tomorrow morning and see if he’s had a setback of some sort.

    And no, i don’t mean an injury. Just a “get the arm in shape” type setback.

  58. marc w. said

    I don’t get this:
    “If he hits .210/.240/.330 in his first two weeks, which i wouldn’t be surprised if he did, how can you expect a 20-year-old who has never had to deal with such adversity to handle such tough times?”
    Actually, he has. Jones hit .206/.257/373 for an entire month, and then rebounded in June with a month of .342/.405/.482 – and that’s before his recent power surge. The point isn’t that he’s fine now, but an entire month, over 100 at-bats, and he hit LESS than .210. I consider that failing.
    I don’t want to get into some weird, marginal debate about what constitutes ‘struggling’ versus ‘failing’ versus ‘a bad patch.’ The point is, this move hinges on Hargrove using the kids he’s got, and not destroying them ala Dusty Baker (Jerry’s right: the extreme downside risk is Corey Patterson). I’m hoping that Bavasi doesn’t let that happen, and that he pulls the plug before Hargrove sends both Choo and Jones to the bench.
    What they’ve done with Choo is awful, but it’s pretty clear that this org doesn’t value Choo at all; it’s also clear that they think Jones is a future all-star. I’m counting on that distinction.

    On his arb clock, how long can he stay up without accruing a year of service time? If the point is to keep Jones just shy of burning a year, is this just a reward for Jones? Give him some ABs until Reed’s back, or until Hargrove demands yet another pitcher?

  59. Again, Marc, Jones went 3 for 34 in a stretch in May and was much better just prior to and right after it… it was just too much to recover from. He didn’t struggle the entire month long.

    And hitting .200 in the minors does not come with the pressures and stress of failing as a rookie in the bigs.

    I dont care about his clock or anything like that. I really dont. This is just about Jones not being ready and the detriment it brings to his development.

    If you had a solid inclination after using all of the info at hand that Adam Jones may turn into Andruw Jones if you left him alobe and didn’t rush him to the bigs and the other side was you could rush him and get Torii Hunter out of it… What would you do?

    That’s what we are dealing with.  It’s a RISK, not a guarantee.  The problem is, the M’s don’t HAVE to take this risk, and shouldn’t be.

    Bavasi is trying to save his job.  That’s clear.
    I haven’t found a major league scout yet that thinks he’s truly ready. They all think he’s getting there at a nice strong pace, but not one of them likes this move. Not one of 9 so far.

  60. Edman said

    Jason, I disagree with his development being stunted, if he struggles. He misses a month of AAA development, but goes back with a month of major league experience. He’ll learn a ton more about what he needs to be successful. Up to this point, he’s getting “told” what to expect. He’ll now get first hand experience learning what his coaches were trying to tell him.

    I’ve seen the kid at Everett and Tacoma. One of the things I like the most about him, beyond his ability….is his confidence and desire to be a major leaguer. He’s got the fire. There are lots of talented kids who won’t make it because they lack that fifth gear, Jones has.

    I think he’ll be here for a couple of weeks. I fully expect Bavasi to make a deal for a veteran CF, prior to the deadline. He doesn’t need to get a great talent. If he could come up with someone with a little pop left, that doesn’t cost a lot of prospects, I expect him to do it.

    And, Jones has the short window to show Bavasi he doesn’t need to make move.

    I see it nothing but positive. Somebody else, I might be concerned. Jones KNOWS he’ll be a major leaguer, it’s just a matter of when.

    And, I think Pentland will do him a lot of good. Jeff seems to work well with developing kids. Perhaps the older guys don’t feel they need the direction.

    It’ll be fun….and he damn sure can’t do any worse than Choo catching a ball.

  61. If he struggles badly for a month, that month of development in AAA isn’t the only bad thing.

    Now his confidence is at the very least shaken… go ask Bobby Livingston how crappy that is. ask Clint Nageotte.

    This is indeed a mistake… that doesn’t mean he’s going to suck and it doesn’t mean it’s going to ruin him. But thety have no business rushing Jones. He’s not going to be some lightning in a bottle and he has major deficiencies on defense. But the M’s are idiots anyways, so…

  62. Oly Rainiers Fan said

    I am puzzled as to the notion that Jones has fire and desire and confidence and all that is virtually indestructible. And we know this how? I think the same could be, and was, said of Livingston. Blackley. Maybe Nageotte. Or, names like Foppert and the far more marginal Rett Johnson.

    I mean, yeah, he’s got to have some tough mettle in there; quite frankly, they ALL do with the whole 1 in 10 making it to the next level, and by the time they hit AAA, they’ve outplayed, outwitted, and outlasted anywhere from 3-6 rounds dependent on where they started and how many levels they stopped at along the way and listened to god knows how many well-meaning friends and family question their commitment to ‘a game’.

    But sometimes, a kid who seems the most confident of his abilities, the most assured of his success – well, that kid is often the one that, when adversity comes knocking, falls completely apart. (Unless of course baseball players are completely and wholly different than the rest of the population).

    What if jumping levels leads to overconfidence and arrogance? Do we only recognize that if it comes in the form of a Bret Boone swagger? It took Boonie some time for the adversity to break him, but when it did, it seriously broke him.

    We have no way of knowing where Jones is on that emotional maturity thing. We didn’t have any real way of knowing with Felix who was even younger. Felix, though not pitching to what we think his level is, isn’t exactly facing serious adversity either. So we still don’t really know what he’s made of. But when you’re slamming a bunch of 19-21 year olds on your major league ballclub, you ARE engaging in a form of russian roulette – but then we all know, Bavasi likes high risk, high reward moves. As Churchill has said up top though, the reward on this (is JONES the missing piece to get us not only to win the division but advance in the playoffs? unlikely) doesn’t seem sufficiently high, right now, to warrant the risk.

    I’m curious. Posted it at USSM, but, while Jones numbers improved markedly from May to June/July, the Rainiers played against crappy teams then as well. Choo’s numbers rocketed too. Clearly I’ve been too lazy to look thus far, but is that a trend among Rainiers who had regular playing time and have been on the roster since the beginning of the season? Did they ALL improve their offensive stats feeding on the PCL cellar dwellers?

  63. Beanball said

    While I am not doubting your scouts. He may not be ready to stick for good in the show but i see this as one of those opportunities to learn what he needs to get better at. He gets an opportunity to work with major league coaches and learn from his major league teammates. That can only help him. If/when he does slide and gets sent back down he will have a clearer focus of what part of his game needs to be worked on.

    This is kind of like the same way they brought A-Rod along, in 94 he was brought up for a taste and struggled with a average around .204 , spent most of 95 in AAA and even during his 95 callup wasn’t much better. (.232)

    I think he turned out ok after that…………

    If one of Jones strengths is his ability to learn then letting him experience the next level and see for himself what he needs to improve might get him ready faster than just telling him.

  64. slim said

    What about Jose Lopez?

    He was rushed up after very nearly the same amount of minor league experience Jones has had. Lopez struggled in 2004, then struggled even more in 2005 during his first call-up, then developed nicely in 2006. His development doesn’t seem to have been stunted much by having rushed him to the bigs.

    And Lopez had the same pressure as Jones to learn a position. Jones has had considerably more time to learn CF than Jose had to learn 2B.

    I’m not saying that rushing Jones is the right choice, but it seems the M’s have some precedent to lead them to believe it won’t backfire. And Jones seems to be much more mature and level-headed than flame-outs like Blackley, Nageotte, and Livingston.

  65. willmore2000 said

    I think that had Lopez remained in Tacoma, he would be even better right now. Particularly in the plate discipline department. It took him 2 years just to realize that he can’t pull everything ! If that isn’t stunted development, I don’t know what is.

  66. eponymous coward said

    The list of guys who struggled for their first few hundred plate appearances in the majors is pretty long, and would include an awful lot of HOF-caliber players. Hell, Willie Mays had something like a 1 for 50 stretch his first few wees in the majors (the 1 being an HR off of Warren Spahn, who used to joke if he hadn’t given that up maybe Willie wouldn’t have had a career in the bigs). So while, yeah, there’s some risk we could abort Jones’s career, if we’re appropriately patient it should work out OK (of course, we’re trading service time of a potential star at age 20-21 for service time at age 26-27, so in that sense it’s a pound-foolish move as opposed to trying to patch the CF hole other ways…but, oh well).

    I’m not a big fan of the move because I think it’s pretty likely Jones will struggle, and with him and C-Rex in the lineup, we run the risk of 2004-2005-early 2006 all over again, where we were having problems scoring because of the automatic outs in the batting order. Basically, I suspect a line of .220/.280/.380 (ala Reed so far this year) would be what you’ll get out of Jones (with, of course, the potential to pleasantly surprise).

  67. Edman said

    Really, Jason….it’s a little lame to blame a short stint in Seattle for Bobby Livingston’s sudden lack of confidence. If he can’t handle a little demotion back to AAA after getting his lunch handed to him….he’ll NEVER be ready for the majors….EVER. Failure, and learning to overcome it, is one of the things that transitions a career AAAA player, into major leaguer.

    Tough love? Sure, and it’s the only kind available in the majors.

  68. Beanball said

    RE: Lopez

    Lopez had a much different approach this last off season. He got to where he is now by the work he put in over the winter and last spring with Pentland.

    If he had stayed in Tacoma all last year its more realistic to think his growth would have been stunted. He wouldn’t have seen how hard the majors is and most likely wouldn’t have put in the work with the major league coaches during the off season.

    He would probably still be trying to pull everything………….

  69. matt said

    hey jason any idea whats been going on with Anthony Varvaro?
    He pitched like a month ago….and never heard about him since?
    Did he reinjure himself or something?

  70. jp17 said

    Dobbs and Jones up

    Everett still here


  71. Andren said

    Dobbs? what the heck are they thinking? Why can’t the FO be subjected to a ‘town meeting’ on things like this??

  72. Re: Dobbs

    He’s much more suited for a reserve pinch hitting type role than Choo… and he has experience at it.

    Re: Edman… When you are a starting pitcher throwing 100 pitches every 5 days and then all of a suddden, for the first time in your entire career, you are used for FIVE total innings in 21 days… Yes, that will screw up your everything.

    It’s not about confidence. It’s about consistency. And what they did to Bobby was criminal. Hargrove should be canned for that alone.

    You don’t take a starting pitcher and use him in relief ONCE every 8-10 days.

    Bobby said before he even made his first start back in AAA that it threw his whole routine off.

    Ask any player that it’s happened to, they will tell you it’s the WORST thing.

  73. slim said

    Why are they not willing to make the Everett-Snelling swap yet? What are they waiting for? Is Bavasi just trying to humor Hargrove by not forcing two rookies on him at once? I’m so confused.

  74. I’m baffled, too. It’s preposterous. I blame Hargrove as much as Bavasi.

  75. bilbo said

    Maybe they are holding out hope that they can get a return for him to save a little face? It’s not a good excuse but it may be the reason. You’d think a bunch of businessmen would understand the whole sunk cost concept a little better, eh?

  76. Beanball said

    Is it possible that the FO doesn’t want to pull the trigger on Snelling for Everett becasue of Snellings injury history? Meaning if they DFA or trade Everett (for peanuts) and then Snelling is brought into DH and goes down, they are then stuck w/o either of them.

  77. thr33niL said

    Being “stuck” without Carl Everett has just been added to the list of things Im NOT worried about.

  78. jp17 said

    And being stuck without Everett is a bad thing?

    Perez could hit the lefties…and Petagine could hit the RH…oh wait…because Dobbs makes so much more sense the Petagine.

  79. willmore2000 said

    Even if Snelling gets injured, we still have Choo who can easily platoon with Ibanez and Perez at DH/LF.

  80. Dave Cairns said

    I wish Adma Jones well in his call up, but I agree with Jason, being called up was detrimental to Bobby Livingston.

    But even more relevant is when Justin Huber was called up by Kansas City earlier in the year and sat on the bench for weeks as he missed out on batting time in AAA and was basically told he was not going to get playing time – Huber has proved he can hit a ML level if given the chance; since going back to AAA he has struggled to produce the way he was prior to the call up.

    I hope the same does not happen to Jones, we all know the front offices of Seattle & Kansas are equally competent in handling young players – NOT.

  81. Beanball said

    Haha, I’m not saying being stuck w/o Everett is a bad thing, I’m just saying that I wouldn’t put that past our front office………..

  82. Let me reiterate… I do not think the move with Jones is going to ruin him.

    And as far as the Snelling getting hurt thing… Better to get 20 games out of him in the bigs than 60 in the minors and 3 in the bigs.

    If he’s going to get hurt again, calling him up or not doesn’t change that.

    And Everett can’t be the safety net to Snelling. If Snelling gets hurt again, they just call up Choo. Choo can’t be much worse than Everett has been the past 7 weeks.

    Hell, I think Jim Everett can hit better.

  83. Matthew said

    Snelling is no more likely to get hurt in Seattle than he is in Tacoma.

  84. Willmore said

    Not true. A frequently overlooked fact is that snelling is allergic to the Safeco Field Grass, and so he can easily sneeze, pull a muscle and be out for 3 weeks. Thus, the odds are higher in Seattle than in Tacome. Not to mention the off-the-field possibilities are endless in Seattle, whereas in Tacoma, they are very very limited.

  85. John Doe said

    Guesses as to whom has/will been/be dfa’ed, outrighted, whatever tomorrow to make room for both Dobbs and Jones on the 40-man?
    Most likely a pitcher-Harris? But isn’t he on the dl and you can’t dfa someone on the dl, right?

  86. U can DFA anyone ya want. I would guess that Morse gets the 60-day DL treatment.

  87. jp17 said

    Anybody have the misfortune of watching Choo in CF for Tacoma last night?

    Jimenez looked good early and fell apart.

    Snelling hit one out.

    Portland has a beautiful stadium.

    And I like their announcers better than the M’s.

  88. Beanball said

    My question wasn’t trying to argue the merits of where snelling might have the best chance of not getting hurt. Or even get into the Everett vs. Snelling thing, I agree he should be getting his AB’s at the big club.

    I was just wondering if in your opinion that the M’s might still be waiting to make a move (and might wait awhile) on him becasue of his injury history. For some reason I can just see them thinking that a veteren “Professional” hitter (thier words) at DH is a less risk than bringing up an injury plauged farmhand.

  89. jp17 said

    Say we dump Everett and promote Snelling…Snelling gets hurt…would a platoon at DH consisting of Perez and a dead guy be any worse?

  90. slim said

    Some of you may remember Bavasi saying before Opening Day that Marcos Carvajal was DFA’d primarily to avoid having to put Snelling on the 60 Day DL in order to keep Snelling happy. Snelling was a priority for Bavasi back then. Not anymore apparently.

    If Snelling gets hurt we’ve still got Choo ready to go. And then Dobbs. And then Erubiel Durazo or who cares.

  91. I think Snelling’s promotion is being held up by Hargrove’s loyalty to Everett.

    Nothing more.

  92. 1996Coug said

    If that is the reason, then I hate the man more than ever. In fact, I hate Everett, too, for being in Snelling’s way.

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