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Adam Jones

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The Mariners have signed CF Ichiro Suzuki to a reported five-year/$100MM or so contract. This is noteworthy on a couple of counts. The first is the average salary of $20MM per year. This bodes well for the players who are going to be free agents this winter as it sets a target for them to measure relative to their own skills. Second, it means Ichiro will remain the cornerstone of the Mariners and likely be the first player to go into the Hall-of-Fame as a Seattle Mariner.

Finally, putting to rest the nascent rumors that the Mariners will deal Ichiro rather than lose him to free agency are put to rest, and the team can focus, to the degree a play-off contender can, on what its 2008 roster will be. With that, the Mariners have recalled top hitting prospect, CF Adam Jones, from AAA and will make him their regular RF.

Entering 2007, Jones was universally regarded as the top prospect in the Mariners system. Baseball America ranked him #1 in the system, and John Sickels gave him the highest grade in their system (B+ along with Brandon Morrow.) Both experts say similar things about Jones.

Baseball America:

drawn comparisons to Mike Cameron...tracks the ball well, covers plenty of ground and has one of the strongest center-field arms...Plate discipline never has been his strong suit...swings and misses enough that he may not hit for high average and will pile-up some strikeouts...

John Sickels:

...has tremendous tools...a premium athlete. He's developed into an excellent defensive outfielder after beginning his career as a shortstop....raw power, but his strike zone coverage leaves a lot to be desired..obvious comparison here is Mike Cameron...don't expect him to put up big major league numbers int he short run.

Adam Jones has done nothing to change those assessments with the exception that his power has grown beyond anything he had previously accomplished. With 21 HRs this season, and 47 XBH overall, Jones has surpassed his previous career highs of 17 HRs and 44 XBHs that he set last season between AAA and the majors. He has done this in just 340 ABS versus 454 in 2006. He is striking out a lot (86) and walking too little (28), though.

If Jones' defense lives-up to its hype, then the Mariners will have shrunk the OF to basically the left field line. This should do wonders for their pitchers by eliminating extra base hits and preventing runners from advancing the extra base.

Year Team Lg Age Level Pos AB XBH HR RBI SB BB SO AVG OBP SLG CR
2003 Az Marin Ariz 18 Rk ss 109 6 0 8 5 5 19 0.284 0.368 0.349 82.60%
2003 Everett Nwest 18 A- ss 13 1 0 4 0 1 3 0.462 0.467 0.538 76.90%
2004 Wisconsin Midw 19 A ss 510 41 11 72 8 33 124 0.267 0.314 0.404 75.70%
2005 Inl Empire Calif 20 A+ ss 271 33 8 46 4 29 64 0.295 0.374 0.494 76.40%
2005 SanAntonio Tex 20 AA ss 228 20 7 20 9 22 48 0.298 0.365 0.461 78.90%
2006 Tacoma PCL 21 AAA of 380 39 16 62 13 28 78 0.287 0.345 0.484 79.50%
2007 Tacoma PCL 22 AAA of 340 47 21 72 5 28 86 0.309 0.377 0.585 74.70%
2006 Seattle MLB 21 MLB cf 74 5 1 8 3 2 22 0.216 0.237 0.311 70.30%