A short note on the development of Jones
One of the things that came up in the comments to the last few posts is the “gotcha, you said Adam Jones sucked and was a horrible draft pick and now you’re all crying over him.” This does a poor job of representing the truth of what’s actually happened. It’s true that Dave didn’t like the pick, and one of the earliest USSM posts you can find on Jones is Dave talking to unimpressed scouts and rolling his eyes at Adam Jones/Alex Rodriguez comparisons. The turning point was when Jones, at 19 in high-A, started to absolutely scorch the ball. We’ve been increasingly rabid fans ever since.
Dave even pointed this turning point out in 2005:
The biggest move up the charts belongs to Adam Jones, who moved from Project to Future Prospect and saw his reward rating bumped up from a 6 to a 7. He hasnâ€™t gotten a ton of recognition, but Jones has been on fire the past month, raising his season batting line to .313/.388/.548. 28 of his 65 hitsâ€“43 percent!â€“have gone for extra bases. Heâ€™s still a free swinger (19 walks, 49 strikeouts) and has a lot of work to do on breaking balls, but the offensive surge Jones has seen is a very good sign for his future. Iâ€™ve been publicly critical of the Jones selection and postulated that he may end up on the mound at some point in his career, but heâ€™s making those comments look quite foolish. [...]
After that, I think you’d be hard pressed to find more constant advocates for the potential of Jones than us, even though we acknowledged his defensive troubles at short, and even though I frequently said that there was a good chance Jones would have a very nice career without achieving superstardom.
Is that really so bad, to be skeptical and listen to scouts, to be willing to recognize when you’re wrong and change your opinion seeing a player make great development strides? I can’t believe that it is.