Before this year started, I was pretty pessimistic about Garrett Jones. Even though he managed to maintain his average and power over a couple months last year I thought it would be about 50-50 whether he would tank or keep up his hitting. However, after a little over a month of baseball, I'm definitely back on the Garrett Jones bandwagon. His average is obviously very low (.230), but he's shown very very good plate patience, he's still got some stick (11 of 26 hits for extra bases), and his BABIP is pretty low at .250. He's been coming around a bit lately, he's been hitting really well with runners in scoring position (which stats wise doesn't mean much, but its nice anyway), and he's drawn about as many walks as strikeouts (21 to 22). I don't expect him to hit 300 on the year, but I feel like 270 with 20+ home runs and a chance at 30 is pretty likely. I still don't think he's going to see too many pitches to hit, but that's more of a result of the lineup than anything else. When our lineup starts to improve (aka if Pedro Comes up as good as advertised) I think Jones will become a much more dangerous hitter, mostly because he'll get pitches to hit on a more regular basis, especially if McCutchen's power continues to grow. Its going to be nice when they walk Pedro to get to Garrett Jones, rather than walking Jones to get to Doumit. Anyway, all I'm saying is i think Jones' best baseball is definitely ahead of him.
I'd also like to say that Huntington's comments on Neil Walker were extremely interesting. I thought management was just blowing smoke about promoting prospects, but the more I hear from them and the more I see them work, it seems like they're %100 serious about only moving prospects when they've done everything management expects from them at that particular level. I actually think its a good sign for Walker that Huntington's talking about him so much, since they probably consider him a legit prospect at this point, but I think it's a bad sign for Pedro Alvarez's eventual arrival (as well as Jose Tabata, Brad Lincoln etc.). It seems like those guys are going to have to dominate AAA exactly the way they're supposed to before management lets them sniff the Major Leagues. Its just weird having our prospects held accountable for their actions, I dont know what to make of it yet (but I think its a good thing).
Prospect to Check Out: 1B Aaron Baker, WV: .276 avg, 29 hits (14 for extra bases), and 16 RBIs. Few too many strike outs, but he had pretty good plate patience at State College, and he still isn't striking out at a Quincy Latimore rate.
Prospect to Ignore for a few months, and possibly forever: Chase D'Arnaud. Remember when he was just bad against right handed pitching? Those were the days. Now he's terrible against it: Against lefties he has 6 BBs against 2 Ks. Against righties? 3 BBs and 18 Ks. Bad Bad sign. Not giving up on him yet by any stretch, but I'm definitely worried.