2010 Cardinals Prospect #12 – Jon Jay

Can Jay work his way into the St. Louis outfield mix in 2010? Today's article is FREE!

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to full 2009 and career stats)

2009 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Throw Signed Round
10 OF 3/15/1985 5-11 200 L L 2006 2nd

School: University of Miami, Florida

Selected 2009 stats

MEM 0.281 505 72 142 23 2 10 54 34 64 20 0.338 0.394 0.732
VWL 0.323 130 28 42 9 1 1 21 15 15 4 0.418 0.431 0.849

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Dustin Mattison (15): After getting off to a slow start at Triple-A, the former Miami Hurricane rebounded to finish strong and help propel Memphis to a PCL Championship. The player that some Cardinals scouts predicted would one day win a batting title finished with a line of .281/.333/.394 with 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases. He followed that by putting together an impressive performance in the Venezualan Winter League. In 130 at bats, he posted a line of .323/.418/.431 with an equal number of walks and strikeouts.

Jay is a very polished hitter with an interesting swing. He has a lot of motion including a hitch of sorts at the top of his swing that he uses as a timing mechanism. He has superb speed along with great range in the outfield. He has a below average arm and below average power. He projects to be a corner outfielder with the Cardinals so he would have to hit for a high average to make up for his lack of power.

To me, he seems to be a fourth outfielder at this time but don't get me wrong, I am really high on Jay. I just think with the makeup of the big league roster, he won't get much of a chance. But, I truly believe that Jay could be a starting centerfielder on a second division team.

Message board community (14): John Jay was President of the Continental Congress from 1778-1779 and first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. But this story is instead about Jon Jay, who was 10th in the community rankings last year and slid a bit to 14th this year. Jay got his first vote at the number 3 position in the rankings, so he had some ardent support. He has long been known as a hitter, and his .906 OPS in 58 AAA AB's in 2008 was particularly encouraging. At first blush, his .732 OPS this year is surprising and disappointing.

But perhaps there is more there than meets the eye. Rumor was that he was working on his hand position as he began his swing. That might explain the progression of his OPS from .530 in June to .831 in July to .922 in August. Playing in Venezuela in the off-season, his OBP was terrific (.418), though his slugging was not (.431), in 130 AB's. A lefty hitter, he has shown a reverse platoon advantage, with an OPS of .770 vs. lefties but only .706 vs. righties in Triple-A, .882 to .835 in Venezuela. If that holds, it might limit his platoon value. Neutralizing for luck, the split shrinks quite a bit.

Jay has the defensive skills to play all of the outfield positions. His speed is supposed to be above average. He'll turn 25 in March, so he is at a reasonable age to begin his MLB career. He seems a very good bet to be at least a fourth outfielder. If the .922 August OPS is a sign that he's successfully adjusted his hitting, then perhaps his aim will be higher. He always makes me think of Skip Schumaker, who generally gets underestimated. - Gagliano

Brian Walton (11): To be honest, I ranked Jay on his very good set of skills while realistically admitting that he is at the head of the class of too-small, too-little power corner outfielders for which this system has too many.

While Jay perhaps edged ahead of Shane Robinson last season, he will have Tyler Henley coming up his tailpipe as well in 2010. Robinson had one thing Jay didn't – a spot on the 40-man roster, but that changed in November. Then there is toolsy Daryl Jones, soon ready for a promotion from Springfield, too. He also has a 40-man berth.

Others in the mix are corner returnees like Nick Stavinoha, Allen Craig, Mark Shorey and oft-forgotten Joe Mather, not to mention mystery man Amaury Cazana. In other words, there are more candidates than there are at-bats to give them. Here is hoping the Cardinals will quickly sort out the contenders from the pretenders and players like Jay will see the time they need to progress in 2010.

Our 2010 top 40 countdown continues: To see our entire list of 40 Cardinals prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

There's more! Want access to the all details behind our Cardinals prospect rankings in our "Forty Days, Forty Nights, Forty Prospects" feature here at The Cardinal Nation?

Subscribe now to our annual Total Access Pass(tm) and receive in the spring the 2010 FOX Fantasy Guide / Scout Prospect Guide, the perfect hardcopy companion to "Forty Days", including the top prospects from all 30 MLB organizations and much more. We author the Cardinals section of the guide as always.

© 2010 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories