The next prospect we are going to go over in this little mini series is Talking Chop’s number 1 ranked Braves outfield prospect, Mycal Jones. Out of all Atlanta’s minor league outfield guys he is probably the closest to the Major League level and with a good 2012 season he could be looking to take over for Michael Bourn’s departure in 2012*
*There is always the chance that the Braves resign Bourn but Scott Boras is going to be selling extremely high on his speed and defense and I wouldn’t count on Atlanta entering the bidding war.
You should check out Talking Chop’s report on him, but if you don’t want to read the whole thing here is the last bit:
Jones’ tools flash often enough to tantalize the fans and they are good enough to profile as an everyday player at the big league level, but he has yet to find the consistency that we look for in an everyday player. Despite the offensive rollercoaster 2011 was still a success for Myke because he showed that he could improve his plate discipline while adjusting to a new position and level of play. If his power returns in 2012 and the plate discipline remains he could put himself perfectly in line to fill Michael Bourn’s shoes in 2013.
It seems like the Braves have been trying to draft a lot of athletic/toolsy/speedy players in recent years and that definitely is showing as we really don’t have a high impact bat in the system (possibly Terdoslavich or Milligan). But Mycal could have just enough offense to become a productive every day big leaguer.
|2010 (A, A+, AA)||.243||.294||.434||.190||15||5.9%||23.3%|
In 2010 Jones displayed a pretty good amount of power, but struck out a lot, didn’t walk much, and his AVG and OBP look awful because of it. In 2011 his approach improved significantly as he more than doubled his walk rate and also managed to cut down on his strikeouts by more than 3%.
However his power numbers dropped a bit and he only hit 7 home runs as a result. If he can move up to Gwinnett next year and bring back the power while also maintaining his improved plate discipline he could be a candidate for the center field job when Michael Bourn leaves.
While there are questions about Jones offensively, we can be pretty confident in his defensive and base running abilities. Most scouts say that Jones has been above average defensively in center, and he also played short stop and second base for the organization. The athleticism and speed are there, so center field should be a great fit for him.
Base running is another strength of Jones’.
- In 2009 he stole 19 bases while only getting caught 4 times (83%)
- In 2010 he stole 22 bases and got caught 7 times (76%)
- In 2011 he stole 17 bags and got caught 6 times (74%)
His stolen base percentage has gone down every year which makes me wonder whether he will be a legitimate threat in the big leagues but the sample size isn’t huge and either way he is going to be able to take a few bags.
My thoughts in closing
Mycal Jones is a fantastic athlete who just might be able to hit enought to be a regular major league player. He has good speed and is a decent to above average base runner. Offensively he needs to continue to improve on his approach and bring back the power that he showed in 2010. A higher batting average would be nice but if he can keep an OBP around .350 with 15 HR’s and 15 SB’s while playing excellent defense a .250-.260 mark will be okay.
.265/.340/.430 12 HR’s, 14 SB’s, 9% BB, 22% K rate
The move to triple A will hurt his plate discipline but he will show signs of more power and make the decision extremely difficult in 2013 when we are looking for a starting center fielder… again.
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