Let's discuss the pros on the Jones file first. He homered in all three games of the Philadelphia series (here's the latest), giving him five round-trippers in just 52 Pittsburgh at-bats. He's stolen three bases in his brief time with the Bucs. He's carrying a .310/.370/.762 line – I know, a tiny sample – and he's walked four times. He's even carrying a couple of positions in our game, outfield and first base. And this all comes on the heels of a strong Triple-A audition – 12 homers, 14 steals, .307 average at Triple-A Indianapolis.
So why do roto heads continue to ignore Jones? Because he's too old to be a prospect. He turned 28 last month and he's had the "career minor leaguer" tag slapped on him after spending several years at Triple-A . His only MLB experience prior to this year came with the Twins in 2007, and it was a mess over 77 at-bats (.208/.262/.338, 20 strikeouts). But is that enough to definitively say this guy can't make a contribution?
We also know that small-market teams tend to fly under the radar with their roto assets, that's just the way it goes. If Jones were making this run for an east coast glamour team, he'd be getting tons of pub (aside: he's not a glamour boy, he's fierce). Heck, if he were 24 or 25, everyone might be making a big deal about him. But at the end of the day this game is about the numbers, not the names, and I don't care who my players toil for. Take a spin on this story, see where it leads. Jones deserves ownership in any mixed league 10 owners or deeper, it's just too hard to find power/speed combos.
If the league figures out Jones quickly and he's proven worthless over the summer, fine, we'll toss him aside and pick up the next guy. No problem there. Not all pickups are going to turn into Brandon Inge(notes) and Michael Bourn(notes), but you only need a reasonable hit rate for this aggressive managerial style to be worth it. Who's with me? Let's get that ownership level where it belongs.