Top Prospect #10: 3B Terry Jones

When the first month of the 2003 season ended, it looked like Terry Jones was April's Fool. He finished the month hitting just .192 and looked more lost than Pat Burrell ever did, even at his worst. Slowly, but surely though, Jones started to turn things around and by the end of the season, his numbers had improved at least enough to where he cold say that he salvaged his season and his prospect status.

When Terry Jones graduated from high school, he had a full baseball scholarship waiting for him at the University of California. He seemed signed, sealed and delivered for the U of C, but then, the Phillies stepped in with what Jones found to be a better offer; $500,000. Jones did the math and figured that even if the baseball thing didn't work out, he could certainly attend college later and pay for it with his signing bonus. With that in mind, Jones signed on the dotted line with the Phillies.

By the time Jones signed in 2001, there wasn't much time left in the season. He went to the Gulf Coast League and played in 9 games and struggled at the plate. When Jones went to Batavia in 2002, he didn't play much better and the Phillies started to worry at least a little bit, especially after the bad start that Jones had to last season. In practice, Jones was downright amazing. Everything he did seemed effortless and smooth. When he stepped on the field in games, everything he had seemed to disappear.

With nowhere to go but up, Jones used the start of May, 2003 to restart his season. From there on, he slowly put it together and impressed a lot of his Lakewood teammates and coaches. Now, the Phillies believe that Jones has finally adjusted to minor league pitching and that he will start to show what the Phillies have believed all along was there. The potential that they spent a half-a-million bucks on has taken root.

Jones is a strong kid who played primarily at shortstop in high school. He also put up a lot of impressive looking power numbers at an early age. The Phillies have yet to see those true power displays, but they believe that they're getting much closer.

Defensively, Jones is a natural and his skills have never suffered there. Even when the Phillies moved him to third base, he made the switch easily and hasn't looked back. He's athletic with good range and a powerful arm.

The bottom line on Terry Jones is that the Phillies have been very patient. The skills are there and the Phillies believe that when all is said and done, Jones will blossom and once he hits the majors, he has the potential to hit 25 homeruns per season and should be able to pull his average to the .270 or .280 range. Optimistic? Probably, but there is definite potential in Jones. Keep in mind that Jones, who is likely to start 2004 at Clearwater, turns just 21 in March, so there is time to develop. The Phillies continue to work with him to cut down on his strikeouts and to become more disciplined at the plate and he is definitely going to need to accomplish that if he is going to put together the kind of numbers that the Phillies hope for. If he doesn't, Jones is set for a big fall down the Phillies prospects list and the Phillies patience may start to wear thin.

Terry Jones Career Stats

 

Year/Team

HR

RBI

AVG

SB

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

BB

KO

2001 Gulf Coast (Rookie)

0

4

.194

0

9

36

3

7

0

0

2

5

2002 Batavia (Rookie)

1

16

.223

5

43

157

13

35

8

4

12

40

2003 Lakewood (Low A)

11

66

.240

11

129

454

57

109

27

4

43

111

Career Minor League Stats

12

86

.233

16

181

647

73

151

35

8

57

156


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