SHANKS: Can you recap all your injuries from the last couple of years?
JONES: I had to deal with a broken hand my first full season. In Rome I broke my hand sliding into second base. I had three pins put in it. I was out for like two and a half months. I got back in July and finished the season then. They shipped me down the last two weeks of the season when it started bothering me again. This past season I had left shoulder surgery. I had the surgery in August of last year. They went in and did something to my labrum. It was my shoulder. That took six months of rehab and I'm finally healthy again. Hopefully I can have a full season this year.
SHANKS: So you've been rehabbing that shoulder this winter?
SHANKS: How did that happen with your shoulder?
JONES: To tell you the truth I don't remember when I did it. I kept playing through it and I finally told someone in August and they had me go see a doctor in Atlanta. I had the surgery.
SHANKS: You had gotten through most of that season last year.
JONES: Yeah I played pretty much the whole season. That shut me down maybe the last few weeks.
SHANKS: Did you have shoulder pain for most of last season?
JONES: I started feeling pain maybe in the middle of the season. In August it just got worse and I finally told somebody.
SHANKS: Was it your right or left shoulder?
JONES: My left shoulder.
SHANKS: And this was after your promotion to Double-A?
JONES: Yeah it was after. It didn't bother me hitting until the second week of August. As soon as it starting bothering me when I started to hit, that's when I told somebody.
SHANKS: Is it hard since you split the season between Myrtle Beach and Mississippi to know how you did last season or do you have a good feel about your season?
JONES: I feel like I had an okay season, but I could have had a better season I think. All I can do is keep working hard and maybe this will be my breakout season.
SHANKS: You should a little more power last year. Was that something you wanted to do?
JONES: I didn't really think about it. I was just being my normal self and trying to hit line drives. I was lucky to put a few of them over the fence.
SHANKS: Do you think you are a power hitter?
JONES: I think I can be. My strong point is to hit it in the gaps.
SHANKS: Did you feel to be able to show some power though?
JONES: I felt alright. I just tried not to think about all that. I just go out and play and whatever happens happens.
SHANKS: Defensively in the outfield, where have you mainly played?
JONES: Last year in Myrtle Beach I played the first half in left, and after my promotion to Mississippi I played left for about a week and then I moved back to right for the rest of the season. It doesn't matter, though. I'll play wherever they need me.
SHANKS: You'll probably head back to Mississippi. How do you feel about that?
JONES: It's a whole lot of competition in Double-A, so I'm happy to be there to play against that competition.
SHANKS: What do you need to improve this season?
JONES: I can improve on my defense a little more, like taking better angles on fly balls and stuff. My main goal this season is just to stay healthy.
SHANKS: How close do you think you are?
JONES: I don't know. I'll keep that with the front office. It's their decision.
SHANKS: How far along are you in your development compared to when you got here your first day?
JONES: I have improved a lot. When I first signed I had only played the outfield for like two years. I'm starting to feel comfortable in the outfield now.
SHANKS: You played the outfield in JUCO ball, but what about high school?
JONES: I played infield in high school. I got to JUCO and they moved me to the outfield. I played shortstop and third base in high school. I don't really miss it, though. I like the outfield now. I'm still working on it.
SHANKS: Have you heard the talk this winter about you being the top outfield prospect?
JONES: No I haven't heard that. People come up to me and tell me all this kind of stuff, but I try not to think about it.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta, 105.5 the Fan in Macon, and the Atlanta Braves Radio Network. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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