A few days ago, James wrote about Adam Jones and his potential leadership abilities as member of the Baltimore Orioles. While Adam was an All-Star last year, a Gold Glove winner and has become a fan favorite, the center fielder has a bit more work to do to take his game to the next level.
His numbers in 2009: 19 homers, 70 RBI’s, .277 avg, .335 OBP, .792 OPS.
Right now, Jones is an incredible talent for the Orioles; however, his 2009 season was a tale of two halves.
In the first half, he just lit it up and looked to become of the elite young players in the game; alas, in the second half, whether due to a long funk or whatever, his numbers sunk and injuries finished him off. Despite some of my criticisms of Jones, most of the time he looked like a ten-year veteran in the field, rather than a ‘young’ player.
Now 24, I expect Jones to take the next step in 2010 and become a ‘true cornerstone’ of the franchise. The man works hard for sure and wants to be a winner, but some areas of his game definitely could be improved — much like everyone else (unless your name is Albert Pujols).
Jones needs to cut down on the strikeouts, become more selective at the plate, get on base more and perhaps incorporate more stealing of bases into his game. He’ll bat at the top of the order, and if he’s a force this year, he’ll help everyone else down the lineup and put them in a position to succeed.
He will only get better.
Adam’s got the power, physical gifts, along with a great public persona to become of one next Baltimore greats. Let’s hope the charismatic Mr. Jones stays in Birdland for a long, long time — as I’m sure he will.
There are very few players in the game that are ‘untouchable’; however, right now, for the Orioles, Adam Jones may come close to that term than pretty much anyone on the team.