Watch Adam Jones early on this season. He looks really good at the plate.
His maturation as a hitter from last season to this season is clear. The young centerfielder could be very exciting to watch in 2009.
Jones says the biggest difference is he's using his eyes and hands more to drive the ball, rather than being pull happy. Hitting Coach Terry Crowley told Jones to trust the strength he gained this offseason--especially in his legs.
It's the 'try less' philosophy and it's working. Jones leaves spring training with a .368 average and three home runs.
The second-year Oriole says the twenty pounds of muscle he put on this winter gives him confidence. He doesn't have to try and crush the ball like he did when he was coming up with the Mariners.
Jones knows his arms are powerful, so he can be effective with a smooth stroke.
Also, he has better discipline when it comes to laying off big league breaking balls. That was an area Jones struggled with in 2008.
The twenty-three year old told me he's very aware of the point he's at in his career and is focused on taking his game to the next level.
Jones said for the first time since being drafted he feels the label 'prospect' is completely shed. That means it's time to step up with the big boys, and establish himself as a player that could become a superstar.
It appears Jones is mentally and physically poised for that challenge.