Daryl Jones is back in Springfield as a 24 year old, 3 years after his breakout season there in 2008 as a 21 year old. What’s eating the DJ? Let’s take a look inside the numbers.
Daryl Jones’ 2008 season was a revelation as he OPS’ed 882 in pitcher friendly Palm Beach and then .909 in hitter friendly Springfield. However, he hasn’t turned in anywhere near those kind of numbers since then. I’m not privy to anything that is going on with the player in his life or the plans the Cardinals have had for him in the past or going forward.
Looking back at Jones’ 151 PAs in Springfield in 2008, he was assisted by an unsustainable 11.3% HR/FB rate and a huge jump in his walk rate up 5%. His numbers did not drop significantly in 2009, he actually hit more line drives, but also more ground balls. With a HR/FB drop 9% down to an unlucky 2.5% and the regression to the norm of his walk rate, Jones dropped to about average for his league and ballpark. For a player who was supposed to be at the top of the Cardinals prospect lists, this was a disappointment.
After a fairly similar season in 2010, Jones was promoted to Memphis in a bench role to start the season. Then in the middle of June after some promotions and injuries, Jones was starting almost straight through from June 9th to June 27th with mixed results. However, Jones was soon returned to his previous bench role and then dropped to Springfield and a starting role there. He has played very well in Springfield as a 24 year old coming back from AAA should.
Is Daryl Jones an org guy now? Being moved around from Springfield and Memphis wherever they need an extra outfielder? How should we think of Jones? Is he a constant breakout candidate or a toolsy player with one big season on his record? At this point he has considerably more mediocre seasons than good seasons on his record.