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Tigers trade Joakim Soria to Pirates for JaCoby Jones

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Late Thursday it was announced the Tigers made their second trade of the day acquiring Double-A shortstop JaCoby Jones from the Pirates for Joakim Soria.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Joakim Soria has been used as the Tigers closer this season. In 41 innings this year, he has posted a very impressive 2.85 ERA, but his 4.81 FIP and a 3.71 xFIP don't look nearly as impressive. He is in the final year of his contract, so we knew the Tigers weren't gonna be able to get a massive return for him.

The return was Double-A shortstop JaCoby Jones. Jones has spent most of this season in High-A and he had a .253/.313/.396 slash line in 93 games there before getting promoted to Double-A. He has only appeared in three games in Double-A so far since he was just promoted there on July 27th. He'll begin his career in the Tigers organization with Double-A Erie and immediately becomes a top-10 prospect in the Tigers farm system.

Jones was a highly thought of prospect coming out of LSU back in 2013, but the big knock on him has always been his approach at the plate, which is very raw. He becomes very pull happy at times and also struggles with pitch recognition. With High-A Bradenton this year he fanned 113 times in 389 at-bats with 32 walks. The approach caused him to fall to the Pirates in the third round of the draft and it is what many scouts think could keep Jones from reaching his ceiling. He has the tools of a regular player but lacks skill consistency.

However, there are plenty of things to like about Jones' game right now. Jones swing looks pretty good mechanically speaking and he has good raw power to all fields. Jones is a very good athlete and his speed can be graded as plus. He's stolen 15 bases in 19 attempts this year, a nice attribute in combination with his power (10 homers).

As mentioned earlier, Jones is currently a shortstop and his statistical performance has actually been solid there, although many observers see him moving to second base or even center field. That said, his arm looks good and both his range and reliability have been sufficient for shortstop.

I absolutely love what the Tigers have been able to do in both trades today. If you missed it earlier I wrote an analysis of the David Price trade here. I feel similar about this one. Although Jones has flaws, he has a broad set of tools with power, speed, and defensive versatility. This is a good return for someone in the walk year of their contract.