Jones has not seen a pitch at the major league level. He is, however, on the Astros 40-man roster. He played a full four-year career at Gonzaga and was an absolute doubles monster his senior year for the Bulldogs.
From there, he was drafted by the Astros in the 19th round. Jones’ strikeout-to-walk rate in his college career hasn’t translated the same in pro baseball, but with age and maturity on his side, he has unlocked power at the plate, which he didn’t possess while at Gonzaga. He has played the corner positions — infield and outfield — during his minor league career.
Even though he has primarily played first base over his four minor league seasons, he has shown the ability to make the routine plays at the corner outfield positions. If Jones made the roster as the 26th man, it would probably be behind Aledmys Diaz on the depth chart as a backup first baseman and left fielder.
The good news about Jones is he is still relatively young. This upcoming season will be his age-26 season, and last year in Triple-A he had his best overall offensive season. In 125 games with Round Rock, he slugged 22 long balls and 28 doubles while having an OPS almost touching the “great” echelon at .889.
This extra roster spot is a new commodity that might warrant more aggressive roster moves. The 26th man spot could be the perfect proving ground for a 26-year-old rookie with promise. It could also be worth giving him a look in the show as the entire outfield could possibly need to be replaced for the 2021 season.
We are getting to the portion of the list that will be considered “long-shots.” This long-shot status isn’t based primarily on their professional playing careers, more so that they are not on the 40-man roster. The Astros 40-man does sit at 39 right now so one addition could be made without having to remove anyone.