To say that the production that the Angels have received out of left field this season has been a disappointment is a bit of an understatement. It's been a disappointment to fans for many years now.
But, all that may be on the cusp of changing. One of the top Angels prospects is Jahmai Jones (pronounced Jahm-eye Jones). Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 draft, Jahmai is a talented and athletic outfielder who may become the future for left field for the Angels. At just 19 years old, he ranked in the Top-10 batting statistics for the Pioneer League. And, he’s still in the Top-10 of most of those stats even though he was promoted to Burlington over a week ago!
Hitting at the top of the order, Jones has a solid build with plus speed (19 SBs). His power is still developing, but is very projectable—he has a solid frame that should generate 15+ HRs in a full season. He’s patient at the plate and has good strike zone judgment (23 BB: 33 Ks in 53 games). He hits well (.308/.390/.435) which is all the more impressive considering his age relative to the league. As a leadoff hitter, he puts the ball in play on the ground, generating a 1.54 GO/AO ratio.
What impressed me most about Jahmai is his overall maturity and mental makeup. He’s advanced compared to his peers. From all the coaches and management people with whom I spoke, he received plenty of praise for his work ethic and demeanor. Even rival coaches mentioned how impressed they were with him, which is one of the many reasons why he was named a Pioneer League All-Star.
All GMs in the game have a projection chart for their clubs detailing who is likely to play every position in the future for their club. There’s no doubt that sitting at the top of that projection chart for the Angels in left field is one name: Jahmai Jones. When Angels fans think about what moves the team should make this offseason, they should keep this in mind as they think about left field. Within 2-3 years, the club should have its own internal solution to the position.
Please click here to listen to our interview with Jahmai Jones.