I believe Jones, much like what we saw from Chas McCormick and Myles Straw last year, has the ability to be an everyday starter in this league. He’s a power bat that can hit lefties, and he’s patient at the plate to go along with his abilities to play multiple positions all over the field.
But with a logjam of talent likely ahead of them this year, Jones seems like prototypical trade bait. Houston will be in-need of upgrades at the trade deadline, and a guy like Jones, who has demonstrated Triple-A production and the need for an opportunity, might be an appealing option for a team in a rebuild.
Houston certainly has quite a good track record of developing players who end up producing for other teams — Bryan de la Cruz, Abraham Toro and Myles Straw — while it wouldn’t be surprising if this will be Jones’ fate.
A few years back, I went and saw the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate play a weekend series in Las Vegas. It was awesome, as I got to see Alvarez and Tucker mash the ball up close. They looked the part of future All-Stars; it was impressive.
But I got to admit, Jones was the most impressive future Astro I saw that weekend. He hit a 400-foot bomb that made my mouth drop. He barreled the ball over and over again against AJ Puk. His blend of bat speed, power and athleticism was on full display. I was sold on him that day, and I haven’t wavered.
I hope Astros leadership will prioritize the first two options this year. Getting Jones back on track off the shelf and then getting him more opportunities in the bigs to showcase his stuff while with the franchise would be my choice.
Jones may not reach the heights of Alex Bregman and Tucker, but I think Jones has a ceiling of being a very good everyday player. And, I hope the Astros don’t trade him this year for a one-year rental.