2. Baltimore Orioles – Adam Jones
The Orioles’ mainstay in center field, Adam Jones started 147 games in center, with Joey Rickard picking up some starts and prospect Austin Hays also getting a few more once Jones stepped aside due to injuries at the end of the year.
Jones hit .285/.322/.466 with 26 home runs, 28 doubles, 82 runs scored, 73 runs batted in. He has now hit 25+ home runs in seven straight seasons for the Orioles, something that not many players can lay claim to not only in Baltimore, but all of baseball.
Jones had a 3.8 offensive WAR and a -0.8 defensive WAR for the Orioles, for a total of 2.5. So why is he higher than Pillar and Ellsbury? Well, it is quite simple, I’m still not buying the sabermetrics for Jones. When you watch Jones play, he isn’t a bad defender.
His range numbers were not bad, especially compared to some of his colleagues in the division. His runs saved above average was below average, and he did have five errors.
But, Jones is also in a ballpark where he has a lot of ground to cover, partly due to the lack of speed on the corners. Jones had the third most putouts in center field, as well as the third most errors at the position. But, his fielding percentage was also fourth best in the American League.
Jones may have some flaws, but his offensive ability and watching him play defense will show you they aren’t what the sabermetrics make them out to be, and Jones remains good enough to stay above most of the others in the division.
2018 is the last year of Jones’ contract in Baltimore, and no one really knows what will happen next. His contract is on the back burner with Zach Britton and Manny Machado also becoming free agents, but Jones has meant so much to the city and the franchise that it still seems likely he ends up back in Baltimore. But, it is far from a guarantee.