August 28, 2010

The End of Garrett Jones?

Clearly, Garrett Jones had an awesome 2009. He got off to a good start this year, and as the owner of two Jones figurines I hate to say it - but it looks like GFJ may not be good enough to be a major league regular.

After going 0-for-6 tonight Jones' slash line now stands at .245/.304/.414. That just isn't good enough to start at either first base or right field.

Interestingly, the much-maligned Adam LaRoche actually hit .265/.340/.469 as a Pirate. Those numbers would have been better if he was kept around last year for his annual second half surge but they are still pretty good. LaRoche was also a better defender than Jones. The Mike Gonzalez for LaRoche deal was one of Dave Littlefield's few good ones. Yet I think most Pirates fans like Jones and hate LaRoche.

Everyone knew at the time that Jones' 2009 when he hit .293/.372/.567 was unsustainable. But I don't think many people expected him to be this ineffective. I say this as a random claim based on no reasearch, but Jones in fact is probably the least productive first baseman in the National League.

Of course there are really no better options right now, especially with Jeff Clement on the disabled list. But first base seems like a position that could be filled relatively cheaply by a free agent. In fact LaRoche signed for $4.5 million this year which seems quite reasonable in a world where Ryan Doumit is making nearly that much.

The past month notwithstanding, Jones hasn't had such a bad season that he can't still come out with decent numbers given a good September. But unless that happens, it's looking increasingly like first base is another position that needs improvement in the form of a new starter for 2011.

1 comment:

  1. Jones' BABIP in 2010: .268
    Jones' BABIP in 2009: .323

    It's likely that his true performance going forward is somewhere in between last years' numbers and this years' numbers. .270/.340/.500 wouldn't be an unreasonable projection for next year (granted, it's not eye-popping). Just saying that it might be too early to write him off completely...