While some have called catcher Matt Wieters the face of the franchise, chances are when you hear "Orioles," you think Adam Jones. The outfielder defied executive vice president Dan Duquette's general rule about waiting to negotiate deals until the offseason and was the recipient of the club's largest contract in a deal announced in a Sunday press conference. The vocal force of the team, Jones has emerged in Baltimore as more than just an outfielder.
On Saturday evening, MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko broke the news that Adam Jones' contract had been extended. The center fielder and the Orioles reached an agreement that locks up the All-Star six years for $85.5 million.
When defining the term "five-tool player," Jones more than qualifies. His career numbers in the five categories are as follows: .278 career average, .449 slugging percentage, 52 stolen bases, 49 outfield assists and a .984 fielding percentage.
While all solid numbers, there are five tools that better define Jones. He defied the rules in his huge contract, so why not defy the five commonly known tools of baseball?
Here are what I believe to be the five tools that Jones possesses that make him the strongest asset for the Birds. These qualities are not all on-field, as Jones is not only a player, but an ambassador for Baltimore.
1. Offensive power - There is no doubt that Jones has raw power that many athletes just do not have. Especially this season, we have seen Jones' power in the middle of the lineup, as well as his total number of home runs skyrocket. On the season, he has 14 homers. Last season, he did not reach No. 14 until July 15. At 26, Jones has developed into a much more patient hitter, which has been noted by fans, teammates and coaches. With the ability to sit on pitches, we can expect to see Jones' home run numbers continue to climb as he is more selective at the plate, waiting for a pitch that he can knock over the fence.
2. Defensive speed - While not necessarily a stat for the books, there is something to be said for the amount of ground that Jones covers in center. As the center fielder, Jones is able to take charge and cover the ground to catch balls for outs that others do not even have a chance of getting.
3. Tenacity - Jones wants to win. In the press conference in which the extension was announced, Jones stated, "I'll take my team against anybody's." From his confidence in his team to his sheer hustle every day, Jones brings determination to a club that was losing long before his arrival from Seattle. For six years, fans can expect to see Jones leaping into the wall every time there is even a remote chance of him robbing someone of a round-tripper or hustling on the basepaths every day.
4. Leadership - Known for assisting players such as Robert Andino and Xavier Avery and as a role model, Jones has really embraced the idea of being an example on the big league level. Even if he was not vocal, his aforementioned hustle and sheer talent alone could speak volumes to less experienced players. Manager Buck Showalter summed it up best when he credited Jones' responsibility and view on baseball "reality" as a great asset as well as a source of excitement for teammates and fans.
5. Community relations - Tied to his leadership is Jones' desire to improve the lives of children in Maryland. With his extension, Jones has the opportunity and outlet to affect the lives of many so close to the Yard.
Disclaimer: If the term was "six-tool player," point No. 6 would be the ability to land a shaving cream pie squarely in someone's face.
But for now, we'll stick to five. Beyond that, we can all join together and welcome back the complete package, No. 10.
Olivia Witherite blogs about the Orioles at Birds Watcher, and her opinions appear here as part of MASN's season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our pages. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.