On Tuesday, I released my very preliminary rankings for the 2015 draft season. Things will change – really, they will. Until then, we’re left with some odd observations to discuss. I acknowledged my uber-bullish ranking of Carlos Carrasco on Little Christmas, and my bearish ranking of Adam Jones shall provide the content for normal Christmas. Enjoy.
The comments in the rankings piece alerted me to the possibility I had skimped with Jones. He came in as the 21st ranked outfielder. Without any stats on a page – just names – I see nothing out of the ordinary including him in a cohort with Matt Holliday, Kole Calhoun, Yoenis Cespedes, and Brandon Moss. Those seem like fine companions for a hyper-aggressive hitter with whiff issues.
Neither of those qualities are my chief concern with Jones. Any hitter with whiff problems should consider hyper-aggression as a solution. Especially if the hitter is comfortable varying his levels of aggression (which is NOT the case with Jones). That can help to avoid the Pablo Sandoval Effect (formerly the Vladimir Guerrero Effect) where opposing pitchers throw mostly balls.
My true concern is secondary to those traits – any decrease in quality of contact could result in a steep decrease in results. Jones has been remarkably steady in recent seasons – anybody would take his 88/29/96/7/.281 fantasy line from last season. The difficulty is how comfortable I feel about continued consistency as he drifts into his decline years. He’s just 29 now, so maybe it’s too early to worry.
The low(ish) ranking all comes down to a series of guesses.
- He won’t age well
- His skill set has little margin for error
- A little issue or injury could cause a precipitous drop
I could be way off base with those presumptions. And you know what, that’s completely fine. I may adjust Jones up my draft board slightly in the next revision, but I believe it to be important to trust my instincts and preferences. You shouldn’t take mine or any one set of rankings as gospel. Ideally, you’ll use other rankings to help form your own specific to your league and preferences. And if you’re not comfortable making your own, a composite can help.
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