2008: A+: 307AB-43R-7HR-35RBI-33BB-67K-326/403/476/879
Daryl Jones wasn’t even included on BA’s 2008 Top 30 Cardinals Prospect list, so one could argue that he has already made quite a move (he’s #4 on BP’s 2009 Top 11). Jones, a 3rd Rd HS pick by the Cards in 2005 (who was also a highly recruited as a football WR), has always been a speedy, athletic prospect. In 2007, some scouts likened him to a young Kenny Lofton, citing great speed and range, with a slightly below average arm in the OF. In his 2007 full season debut, Daryl struggled to a .217/.303/.296/.599 line, well deserving of the precipitous drop in his prospect status. However, given his scouting report, perhaps it was a bit premature to forget about him.
In 2008, Jones took a major step into the right direction. His BB% jumped from 8.9% in 2007, to 9.7 and 15.1% in 2008 at High A and AA respectively, with his wOBA improving from .285 to .409 and .410 over the same periods. His ISOp also jumped, from .079 to .150 and .210. While the much improved BB:K (0.73) in AA bears watching, Jones will need to show that over a larger sample size. The negatives from this campaign include a 24.6% strikeout rate at AA, and an unsustainable BABIP in 2008 (.399 and .341 in his two stops).
Given his athleticism and tools, and a comeback 2008 season, Jones is again getting attention from prospectors. I currently have him ranked in the bottom ¼ (#80) of my Top 100. He should start 2009 in AA, as a 21 year old, with a chance to move up one notch with continued success. I envision Jones statistically as a guy who is good for .260/20/20, for the fantasy reader out there. If he can continue the momentum he started in 2008, Jones could jump into the Top 40-50 range for 2010.