The Detroit Tigers are buried in the rebuild right now, but 2020 is still going to be a make or break season for outfielder JaCoby Jones as he looks to show he belongs.
The 2020 season is going to be a crucial one for Detroit Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones who needs to prove that he belongs in the big leagues after a rough showing the past two seasons. Jones has been in the big leagues for parts of the past four seasons. The main issue with Jones is his plate discipline and lack of patience, leading to far too many strikeouts.
The Tigers outfield this year consists of some familiar faces, even an old friend in the form of Cameron Maybin, but if Jones wants to stick around, he needs to improve and show he belongs. He will get the opportunities this year platooning with Maybin and Víctor Reyes, who will find himself all over.
With Daz Cameron continuing in his route to the big leagues, Jones is going to have some more competition once the prospects within the organization continue developing. That is if he’s still around by that point in time.
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In 2019, Jones played in eighty-eight games where he hit .235/.310/.430 with eleven home runs and twenty-six RBI while striking out ninety-four times. Injuries kept Jones on the injured list in 2019, and off the lineup card, he continued to show inconsistency either way.
Back in 2018, in his first “full” season in the big leagues, Jones was not very good posting a .207/.266/.304 with eleven home runs and thirty-four RBI while striking out 142 times on the season. Jones’s inconsistency at the plate has limited his value during his time in the big leagues.
The hope for Jones would be that a strong spring performance would carry over to the regular season, and he can emerge as a true consistent everyday centerfielder.
In all honesty, the future of the Tigers outfield looks to be pretty stacked if Cameron, Riley Greene, and Parker Meadows all pan out as expected. So, in the long run, the idea would be that Jones’ bouncing back and becoming a consistent outfielder simply just buys more time for the young kids to keep getting better.
The Tigers organization is not one to rush their prospects to the big leagues, as evident by the pitching staff. Having a functioning outfield with the players the Tigers have now, to push them through the rebuild, allowing the prospects to develop fully is only for the better of this process.
So if Jones can “make it” this year rather than falter, he will make it even easier for General Manager (GM) Al Avila to hold the youngsters in the minors.
If Jones can pan out for the better and stick in the outfield, the pressure comes off the prospects a little bit, and the Tigers will be much better off for this rebuild. Hopefully, Jones can learn to lay off some pitches and be more consistent at the plate to become the everyday centerfielder.