Can you guess which Pittsburgh Pirates’ player has hit seven HR’s in his last 12 games going into last night’s action? Adam LaRoche? No. Did you guess the recently returning Ryan Doumit? Not him either. Did you think it was there rookie phenom Andrew McCutchen? A logical guess but he only has two HR’s on the year. Nate McLouth? Sorry, but he was traded last month. If you guessed Garrett Jones then you were correct.
Garrett Jones of the Pittsburgh Pirates has hit seven HR’s in his first 12 games of the 2009 season. *Going into last night’s action against the San Francisco Giants, Jones had hit a HR in four straight games and hit five HR’s total in that span. Pretty impressive stuff.
Thanks to the All-Star game festivities, the Roy Halladay trade rumors, and because Jones plays on a team that only a select few care about this feat has gone pretty much unnoticed. Could you imagine for Jones hit seven HR’s in his first 12 games of the season while on the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, or Chicago Cubs? He would already have a statue outside of all three stadiums.
So you are probably wondering, just who is Garrett Jones? The natural assumption would be that since he plays for the Pirates, he must be an up-and-coming prospect? Well, he is not. Jones is actually 28-years old.
Garrett Jones was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 14th round of the 1999 draft. Outside of a cup of coffee with the Minnesota Twins in 2007 where he hit .208/2/5 in 31 games, Jones has been your classic Quadruple-A player.
A Quadruple-A player is a player who is good enough to carry in your minor league system, but not good enough to be a permanent fixture on a major league roster. Think Jeff Bailey of the Boston Red Sox or Jeff Manto, who is in the Quadruple-A Hall of Fame. Jones has spent the last 11 seasons in the minor leagues and the last five in Triple-A Indianapolis.
In those 11 seasons, Jones has hit .258 with 158 HR’s, a .312 OBP, and 629 RBI in 1,038 AB’s. As you can see, he never tore up the minor leagues and there is nothing there to suggest that Jones would get off to the start he has with the Pirates.
Not only does Jones have seven HR’s, but he has also hit .313, scored 11 runs, has nine RBI, an OBP of .365, three SB’s, and has a Pujolsian 1.199 OPS. So question is – can Garrett Jones keep this up? I would say it is very unlikely. Usually these things have a way of evening themselves out. However, in Jones’ favor is that everyone thought the Texas Rangers’ Nelson Cruz was a Quadruple-A player as well. I think things have worked out pretty well for him recently.
Regardless of whether or not Jones keeps this up or not, he has been a great story in the last two weeks and is already more successful than Corey Myers and BJ Garbe. They were the fourth and fifth picks of the first round in the 1999 draft who never even made it to the major leagues.
Just goes to show, you never know.
*Jones went 1-4 with a double in last night’s game against the San Francisco Giants ending his four-game HR streak.