Offseason Special – 12 Toolsy Outfielders Series (1 Per Week Through March)

Jahmai Jones – Right Handed Hitter, Angels

The LA Angels drafted Jahmai Fitzgerald Jones 70th overall in the 2015 draft out of Wesleyan High in Norcross, Georgia (he signed for $1.1 million, ~$220k over slot). Jahmai is burdened by family tradition to keep up with the Joneses as the Jones family has fashioned a football family legacy with his father Andre and brothers TJ/Malachi all spending time on NFL rosters. Jahmai is having little trouble so far living up to the Jones family billing. He has raw athleticism and elite hand-eye coordination that are put on display during batting practice sessions and in fielding drills. He is very quiet in the box and does a great job of tracking the ball with his eyes until the contact point with his bat. His glove to throwing hand transfer and throwing motion are both extremely smooth and allow him to project as a plus defender in CF or a corner, while looking good doing it.

In his first full season as a professional in 2016, Jones showed exceptional plate discipline for a teenager by posting an impressive 10% walk rate to go with a 16% strikeout rate while showing a little pop and speed on the base paths (4 HR and 20 SB) between Short Season Orem and Full Season Burlington.

To start the 2017 season, Jones returned to Low-A Burlington as a 19-year-old and struggled in April before turning it on for about 2.5 months resulting in a promotion to High-A Inland Empire about a month prior to his 20th birthday. Aside from his rough April and September, (slow start and fatigued finish) Jones displayed consistency throughout the summer with some very impressive splits including the ability to perform well while behind in the count while also doing a lot of damage when ahead in the count. The only slight blemish was his cold spell against left handed pitching post promotion, which could foretell a positive reversion for 2018. Jones’s peripheral numbers continued to paint an awfully positive picture going forward; 8.6% walk rate, 20% strikeout rate and more fly balls than in 2016, (1.3 GO/AO ratio). However, if we’re being honest with ourselves, what we care about as fantasy owners are the impressive power and speed numbers put up by a young prospect. Jones smacked 50 extra base hits and swiped 27 bags in 2017. These types of numbers backed up by his inspiring peripherals give him a leg up on all other Angel OF prospects (most notably Adell and Marsh) for the potential 2020 opening in right field (and CF job in 2021 if the Angels can’t resign Mike Trout).

All in all, Jones fits the exact profile dynasty owners want in a dynasty fantasy baseball prospect by displaying plate discipline, power, and speed from Jump Street (speed being extra important in roto setups as a premium continues to be placed on rare speed/stolen base ability).

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