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Market Fresh: Brandon Jones

On Tuesday, 26-year old OF-Brandon Jones was designated for assignment by the Atlanta Braves to make room for Eric Hinske.  Now that he is fresh on the market, does he fit into the present or future of the Kansas City Royals?  Let’s take a look to find out.

OF-Brandon Jones was selected in the 24th round of the 2003 draft by Atlanta and signed him as a draft and follow.  Not only does he likely interest Dayton because of the Atlanta ties, but Jones was also the 6th round pick of the Royals in the 2002 draft.  Instead of joining the Kansas City organization, he opted for community college.

Jones was ranked as Atlanta’s 7th best prospect in 2006, and moved up to the 4th spot for 2007.  Baseball America had this to say about him in the 2007 prospect handbook:

He makes hard contact and drives the ball into the gaps with his quick, line-drive swing.  Jones possesses above-average wheels and could become a solid power-speed threat at the major league level.  His plus range and strong arm enable him to play anywhere in the outfield.

In addition to the above, he was regarded as the best athlete in the Braves system heading into 2007 and then went on to hit 0.295/.367/.490 with 19 HR, 17 SB, 61 BB, and 120 SO between Double-A and Triple-A.  It was enough to earn him 19 at bats in a late season call up.  While making his major league debut, he hit 0.158/.190/.211.  In 2008 he hit 0.260/.343/.405 with 8 HR and 9 SB in 346 Triple-A at bats before getting 116 at bats with the Braves.  While in Atlanta he hit 0.267/.312/.397 with 7 BB and 28 SO.  Then in 2009, he hit 0.308/.471/.308 with 4 BB and 3 SO in 13 at bats with the Braves early in the season and then hit 0.281/.360/.419 in 384 AB.

Capable of playing either corner in the OF, Jones could be a potential solution in RF when Jose Guillen moves on or in LF if David DeJesus is traded.  He has more experience in LF having played 288 games there professionally compared to 60 games in RF.  He has a -20.2 UZR/150 in the OF but it is in a very small sample size of 45 games and 332.1 innings.

Brandon Jones has now accumulated over 1,000 plate appearances in Triple-A, has improved his BB to SO rate in each season since 2006, and is now at the point where he deserves a long term look in the majors.  The Royals should be the team to give him that chance as he is exactly the type of young, talented, upside player that the team should be taking a look at.  He has already done more in 148 major league at bats than Mitch Maier has done in 445 and more than Brian Anderson has in 799.

(Wally Fish is the lead blogger for Kings of Kauffman and FanSided’s MLB Director.  Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)

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  • The Laundry

    Dayton’s not interested yet. The UZR in on target, but he needs to get his OBP comfortably below 300 before he’s truly a Royal.

    But seriously folks. Sometimes the Braves connection is a benefit – Dayton SHOULD take a flyer on talented Braves castoffs and use his insider knowledge of that organization. But as it’s been said elsewhere (Rany I believe), when a GM becomes so laughably idiosyncratic that fans can predict which mediocre players he will sign months in advance, it can’t be a good sign.

    Yes, the farm system is improving under his watch. But it almost had nowhere to go but up, especially factoring in the increased spending on the draft and international signings. If Dayton is good at bringing young talent into an organization but bad at creating a major league roster, doesn’t that mean he should be a minor league director and not a GM?

  • BrettFan1

    This is one ex-Brave we won’t be seeing in Royal blue anytime soon. Per MLBTradeRumors, Jones was claimed off waivers by the Pirates. The only team that could have taken him before the Pirates was the Nationals. I’m sure that Moore is cursing the extra few wins the team garnered last year now that they have cost him this prize. Maybe that is his plan with this offseasons acquisitions, make sure no one can finish with a worse record and steal next years top pick and the right to be first in line for waiver claims. Shrewd…….

  • Wally Fish

    You are correct about the Pirates claiming him. For anyone who wants to see the MLBTR release:

    One point of clarification, the waiver priority goes by league. Since Jones was in the NL, all NL teams had a chance to claim Jones before any AL team would have had a chance to get him.

    So at least in this case, the few extra wins didn’t cost the Royals Brandon Jones. Even the Dodgers, and their NL best 95 wins had waiver priority over KC.

    Shrewd doesn’t often get attached to Dayton these days, but if his objective is to finish with the worst record in baseball he just might be on track.

  • BrettFan1

    I didn’t know about the league issue for waiver claims. However, all need not be lost here. Moore has shown that he is extremely creative when the need arises (a la the Dan Gutierrez situation). He could call up the Pirates and offer a trade. I hear that Montgomery has been making waves over his throwing program, clearly a bad apple, maybe the Pirates would be kind enough to take that problem off of GMDMs hands. They would have to throw in another C level prospect to even things out though (Dayton math, C+C = A). You know what they say, where there’s a will there’s a way…. the Braves way.

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  • Rumbunter

    Wally. Rumor has it Neal Huntington is reading your blog. Keep those Market Fresh tips coming my friend!

  • Wally Fish

    Rum Bunter,
    If your GM is reading my blog, I hope he takes a long look at my proposed deal (just posted a few minutes ago) for the Royals to get their hands on Jones.