The Pirates announced today that INF JaCoby Jones has been assigned to Double-A Altoona. Jones hit .253 with a .708 OPS at Bradenton. He is currently ranked as the 18th best prospect in the system.
Jones has been an everyday shortstop for the past two seasons in both Bradenton and West Virginia. According to the Curve, Jones will debut for the team tonight, batting sixth and playing shortstop.
To make room in Altoona, LHP Josh Smith was placed on the 7-day disabled list. – Sean McCool
The timing of this move seems off because Jones has not been good lately. He is hitting .200 in his last ten games, with 13 strikeouts. The strikeouts, along with a low walk rate, have been an issue the last two seasons, but last year he put up an .851 OPS. This season, his OPS in .708 and he has 113 strikeouts and 31 walks in 379 at-bats. He has been getting praise for improved defense, but with a .253/.313/.396 slash line this season, it doesn’t seem like he has earned a promotion.
It could mean that someone from Altoona’s middle infield is moving up or out. Adam Frazier and Max Moroff have been splitting shortstop and both are hitting well, plus they are better defenders at this point. Dan Gamache has seen time at second base when Moroff plays elsewhere. The move is a bit surprising, but Jones is already 23 years old, so he’s a good age to be at AA, which is where I’d expect him to be next year. – John Dreker