Detroit Tigers prospect Jacoby Jones has struggled to hit while playing in the major leagues. He has just one minor-league option remaining and the Tigers are trying different ways to keep him with the team at Comerica Park.
But, if he can get some at-bats while filling in at all three outfield spots, plus get a few more filling in for Jeimer Candelario, well then, maybe it would be mutually beneficial for Jones to come north with the Tigers.
That scenario is clouded a bit by the presence of Rule 5 draftee Victor Reyes, who can also play all three outfield positions. If he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, the Tigers would have to offer him back to Arizona.
Jones’ mind is blissfully uncluttered with those scenarios. When asked if he allowed himself to think about his odds of making the team, he says without hesitation, “Not one bit.”
Jones has all the makings of a defensively solid outfielder. His offensive struggles though have plagued just what the Tigers are to do with them. Their current plan is to make him a utility-man to get him more at-bats in the big leagues. Evan Woodbery, of MLive, is reporting that the Detroit Tigers have informed Jones they want him to take ground balls.
Jones said the Tigers haven’t advised him of any specific plans and he only started taking grounders on Saturday. He has played second base, shortstop and third base in the past, so the transformation wouldn’t be dramatic.
“They told me to just take some more ground balls in the infield. I said, ‘I’m all for it,'” Jones said. “I don’t know (their plans). I’m assuming they want me to play a lot of positions. They haven’t really told me anything other than just keep your infield glove with you and take some ground balls every now and then. I was like, ‘All right.'”
The flexibility will allow Jones to get more at-bats and hopefully improve his offense.