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Friday, January 06, 2012

Cameron: Adam Jones, Unfinished Product

I can’t imagine why the Braves would balk about trading their starting LF, a #3 starter AND “prime” pitching prospects for a new Jeff Francoeur…

Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 06, 2012 at 05:06 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, mariners, orioles, projections, prospect reports

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   1. zachtoma Posted: January 07, 2012 at 01:47 AM (#4031020)
Well their starting LF sucks, Jurrjens is good but I don't mind trading him... they definitely shouldn't be including any "prime" pitching prospects.
   2. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 07, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4031051)
If the Braves aren't prepared to pay above fair market value, then they shouldn't be trying to trade for a guy whose team isn't actually looking to trade him.
   3. bookbook Posted: January 07, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4031057)
Look, I know the most similar players list on baseball-reference is a fun toy, not something well used for a comparison like this. But Adam Jones has a nice list (Gary Matthews feels like the most meaningful to me).

Jones and Francoeur share three names on their ten most similar...
   4. Sweatpants Posted: January 07, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4031067)
Well their starting LF sucks
This isn't very fair. Prado was good every season up until last one.
   5. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 07, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4031117)
Prado has been a better player than Jones. I'd trade Jurrjens for Jones, in order to move Prado back to super-sub. But that's it. Straight up, Jurrjens for Jones. Cameron's insanely overvaluing a guy he fell in love with as a M's prospect.
   6. bfan Posted: January 07, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4031121)
Prado's beast season is a limited power, no walk, no speed, high average season; his best is never that good. As a 2B it is valuable, but for a hitter's position, not so much.
   7. Greg K Posted: January 07, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4031137)
Prado might be a better hitter than Jones, but unless you think Jones really turned into a -17 CF at age 25 after several years of being good, Jones looks like the better player to me.

Still agree it's not a trade I'd make, but you might be under appreciating Adam Jones.
   8. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 07, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4031186)
Still agree it's not a trade I'd make, but you might be under appreciating Adam Jones.


I'd appreciate Adam Jones just fine. But the idea that he's worth Jurrjens PLUS Prado PLUS "one or two" of Atlanta's "prime pitching prospects" is absolutely absurd. Jeff Francoeur with league average defense in CF is valuable, but he's not Matt Kemp.
   9. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 07, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4031187)
Don't worry. The Orioles will give up on him soon, and you can have him for some 38 year old DH who used to be able to hit or a LOOGY.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 07, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4031200)
Cameron's insanely overvaluing a guy he fell in love with as a M's prospect.

I think this is right. He compares Jones to guys who were 25 or younger when putting up those stat lines, but Jones turned 25 in 2010. He'll be 27 in Aug. of this year, and has shown zero improvement in his peripherals or performance in 3 full years.
   11. Tripon Posted: January 07, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4031215)

I'd appreciate Adam Jones just fine. But the idea that he's worth Jurrjens PLUS Prado PLUS "one or two" of Atlanta's "prime pitching prospects" is absolutely absurd. Jeff Francoeur with league average defense in CF is valuable, but he's not Matt Kemp.


Nobody is Matt Kemp. Matt Kemp is the moon, the stars, the sky! He's also a pretty nifty player.
   12. Srul Itza Posted: January 07, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4031241)
Cameron's insanely overvaluing a guy he fell in love with as a M's prospect.


You could have stopped there.
   13. madvillain Posted: January 07, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4031262)
I think this is right. He compares Jones to guys who were 25 or younger when putting up those stat lines, but Jones turned 25 in 2010. He'll be 27 in Aug. of this year, and has shown zero improvement in his peripherals or performance in 3 full years.


Yea, shouldn't you know, Jones be 25 or under if he's being compared to players who are 25 and younger? Also, just comparing guys who swung at over 50% of pitches and had an iso of over .150 seems pretty arbitrary.

Jones' career has stalled. Could he be better going forward? Sure, but this piece doesn't convince me of anything other than that Cameron is a skilled rhetorician, at least judging by the upvotes from his fans on Fangraphs.
   14. base ball chick Posted: January 07, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4031264)
Tripon Posted: January 07, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4031215)

Nobody is Matt Kemp. Matt Kemp is the moon, the stars, the sky! He's also a pretty nifty player. teh HOTTTTTTTTTTT
   15. Walt Davis Posted: January 07, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4031273)
Why would you trade for Adam Jones to move him to LF? Not seeing a huge difference between Prado and Jones, probably a defensive edge for Jones. But if the problem is that your LF doesn't hit like an LF, you don't solve that problem by trading for a CF. They could have done as well signing DeJesus.

And Snapper's right -- that's got to be about the worst way to put together a comp list I've seen. Let's find _seasons_ (not careers or multiple season aggregates) of players 25 or younger (so maybe had this kind of season at 21-22 and became a stud at 23) and an ISO of 150 _or more_ (with no top end cap).

As soon as you see the name Miguel Cabrera as a comp for Adam Jones, you must know you did something wrong. Jones has a career 162 ISO while Cabrera's lowest was a 200 in his age-20 season.

Not surprisingly, ages 23-25, OBP 315-335, ISO 145-175 turns up tons of names. Just looking 1990 on, sorted by Rfield:

L Gonzalez
C Johnson
Alex Rios
Wieters
Tino
Ramon Hernandez
Alex Gordon
Terrence Long
Adam Jones
Dave Nilsson
Delmon Young
Aubrey Huff
Felipe Lopez

So we've got Gonzalez who broke out at 31 when he went to Arizona. And we've got ... Gordon? He had a big year last year at 27. Tino had a few above-average years but still ended up with a 112 OPS+. Huff had some big years and some crap years. That's not a bad list -- plenty of good, longish careers there, just generally not guys who got any better as hitters.

This still isn't a great list. For example Hernandez put up those numbers at a time when offense was at it's peak. His OPS+ for ages 23-25 was 87, way below Jones.

So, keep the power range and replace the OBP range with an OPS+ range of 105-115. You do get some better names here:

L Gonzalez
Cano
Reyes
Pedroia
Crawford
R Martin
Dmitri Young
Peralta
Loney
Bradley
Kinsler
Nick Johnson (wasn't expecting that one)
Sanders
Sweeney
Vidro

Now ... Cano is here only because of his awful age 25 season. Every other season from ages 23 to 28 is above this OPS+ range. Nick Johnson is clearly not the same type of hitter as Jones so he's out and Martin's a C so ignore him. But otherwise these seem reasonable at first glance.

So ... Gonzo improved at 31; Reyes just had a big year at 28 but otherwise (from an OPS+ perspective) has not improved; Pedroia (probably) up; Crawford, Young, Peralta, Loney, Kinsler, Sanders, Vidro no improvement; Bradley and Sweeney improved.

On the positive side, as hitters, no prime-age cliff dives (except Martin the C and maybe Johnson the fragile). That's pretty rare for a comp list in my experience. Based on these, there is some chance Jones is about to jump up to a 125-135ish OPS+ range (Pedroia, Bradley, Sweeney ... though Bradley is just all over the place).

Solid player, nothing to dislike except maybe his defense in CF, reasonable chance at improvement. That's just not worth anything like Jurrjens, Prado and a prospect. I was going to say that Jurrjens straight up was more than fair but he looks a lot better by ERA+ than he does by his peripherals so I'd have to think harder about Jurrjens' long-term potential -- but hard to see how Jurrjens and Prado isn't fair. Or one plus a prospect (but not a prime one) since both Jurrjens and Prado seem to have a significantly higher collapse risk than Jones.

Anyway, I would be surprised if any legit comp list for Jones turned up a major hitter. Certainly there's no way he should be comped to Cabrera and Braun.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: January 07, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4031277)
That's just not worth anything like Jurrjens, Prado and a prospect. I was going to say that Jurrjens straight up was more than fair but he looks a lot better by ERA+ than he does by his peripherals so I'd have to think harder about Jurrjens' long-term potential -- but hard to see how Jurrjens and Prado isn't fair. Or one plus a prospect (but not a prime one) since both Jurrjens and Prado seem to have a significantly higher collapse risk than Jones.


I just don't see even Jurrjens straight up, even acknowledging the peripheral issues.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4031310)
Jones must get all the scout guys hot and bothered, because I don't really see him being this elite talent that nets you multiple players/good prospects. Nice player to have sure, but I agree with #16, a Jones/Jurrjens swap straight up seems more than fair.
   18. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 07, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4031341)
I think this is right. He compares Jones to guys who were 25 or younger when putting up those stat lines, but Jones turned 25 in 2010. He'll be 27 in Aug. of this year,
So, in other words, this is his age 26 season. Which means he was 25 last year.
and has shown zero improvement in his peripherals or performance in 3 full years.
Yes, but he's been an Oriole. Orioles hitters don't develop. There's something in Boog's food that stunts them.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 07, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4031363)
So, in other words, this is his age 26 season. Which means he was 25 last year.

He was 25 last year only by the most charitable baseball definition. He turned 26 in Aug. He was a lot closer to 26 than 25 for the entire baseball season.

Players age based on real age not "baseball age".
   20. rlc Posted: January 07, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4031418)

Players age based on real age not "baseball age".

Was Cameron comparing him to plumbers or accountants?

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