Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones – Greatest Start Ever


Apr 19, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10) follows through on a three-run double against the Boston Red Sox during the sixth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

After powering the Baltimore Orioles to an impressive 8-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox with a 4-for-5 day and five RBIs, O’s center fielder Adam Jones was asked by the team’s beat reporters if this is the best start to a season that he has ever experienced. He said…

"“I don’t know. You guys go up there and look at all the numbers.”"

OK … let’s do that. But I think we already know the answer.

Currently, after 12 games, Jones is batting .457 with five home runs and 16 RBIs. His OPS stands at the crazy number of 1.338 – tops in the major leagues.

Looking back at the eight seasons that Adam Jones has been with the Orioles, it is not rare that he has gotten off to a very good start. The greater concern in some recent years is that he has seemed to wear down a bit at the end of the year.

But charting the last eight years by comparing his numbers after the opening 12 games of the season, this is what is revealed …

YearAvg. Hits2BHRRBI

So, by any measure, 2015 is certainly the best start that Adam Jones has ever enjoyed. It really is pretty amazing. Guys in softball leagues would like to have statistics like this!

Jones also got off to spectacular beginnings in 2009 and 2013. The latter of these years – just two seasons ago – is also when Chris Davis bolted out of the gate with great numbers. After the same 12 games, he was batting .366 on 15 hits, 4 doubles, 6 homers, and 19 RBIs. Davis’ OPS was 1.362 at that time, so only slightly higher than Jones right now. All to say, it is a great start.

What is surprising is that with two players with such outstanding numbers in the first dozen games of 2013, the Orioles actually only had a record of 6-6.  The Orioles are currently 7-5. Last year, they were 5-7.

Without doubt, not everything has gone swimmingly well for the Orioles in their first 12 games. The pitching has been very up and down, with the bullpen especially struggling until these past two games. J.J. Hardy is out, along with the anticipated loss of Matt Wieters. Chris Davis again leads the league in strikeouts. Now Jonathan Schoop will be gone for an undetermined period of time.

However, the track record of so many Orioles players is that they are going to figure it out. Tommy Hunter on Sunday looked something more like the guy of the second half of 2014, as did Kevin Gausman. Though his stats don’t show it right now, Manny Machado has been hitting some very hard balls often right at fielders; but he is looking to get his timing tweaked.

And all of this is to say that, just as Nelson Cruz carried the Orioles through the early portion of 2014 and gave the Birds a chance to pull together as the top team in baseball over the final four months, Adam Jones may well serve in this role in 2015.

Next: Ubaldo Jimenez - Beanballing in Beantown

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