Jones said right now, he doesn’t see that he is really playing any better than last year.
“I think I’m playing the same way, playing hard,” he said. “The results are a little different, but I’m bringing the same to the field every single day. It’s going good so far, but it can always be better.”
Jones is not wrong if you look at some stats. Last year, his on-base percentage was .325 and now it’s .337. His slugging then was .442 and now it’s .440. His OPS then was .767 and now it is .777.
In recent days, Jones has moved up to second in the batting order. He said, yet again today, he doesn’t have a preference for where he bats.
“I’ve already said I don’t care,” Jones said. “It doesn’t matter where I hit as long as I’m in the lineup. The situation might be a little different in that I try to get on base for Guerrero, Luke and Wieters compared to when they are on base for you.”
Jones did not have a hit Sunday, ending a seven-game batting streak during which he hit .379. Over his last 12 games, he is batting .380 (19-for-50) with eight RBIs.
There is one thing he does notice when batting second: Brian Roberts is not batting ahead of him as the Orioles continue to play without their leadoff hitter.
“To me, he’s one of the game’s best leadoff hitters and sets a tone,” Jones said. “Now we have to improvise with other guys like Pie and Andino. So far, they are a doing a pretty good job at working counts. But they need to be themselves also, and don’t just think they need to take a lot of pitches as a leadoff hitter. They need to be themselves within reason.”
Jones recently picked up his sixth outfield assist when he got Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees trying to stretch a single into a double. Jones nailed him by a big margin. His six outfield assists is one more than the rest of the O’s outfielders combined.
“Oh yeah, I love throwing out guys,” Jones said. “You get to help out your pitcher. I’ve had chances where guys have tested me and been safe if the throw was off, but if you run, I’m going to try and throw you out, I don’t care who you are.”