Scouting Report: Austin "Bubba" Jones

The New York Yankees selected first baseman Austin "Bubba" Jones in the seventh round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Edmonds Woodway High School in Washington. He has spent his first year reconstructing his body and getting acclimated to the professional level, and while the stats haven't exactly proven it yet he is gaining confidence in his overall game.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Austin Jones
Position: First Base
DOB: August 20, 1992
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 200
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

"The season itself went great," he said. "I started off well. My numbers went down towards the end of July and into August but I don't think my game plan ever changed.

"I felt really comfortable the entire year so I think it was an awesome year for me personally. I only hit .220 or something like but I'm not worried about that. I had a lot of confidence in myself."

As is the case with most first-year players, there were several "firsts" he had to experience; Spring Training, Extended Spring Training, and getting accustomed to the daily grind of playing everyday, which isn't always easy for somebody from the northwest.

"Extended [Spring Training] was kind of grind," he admitted. "I had never been through something like that. It kind of feels like practice games and there's no real stats or anything, the scoreboard is not even on.

"It was a grind but I thought I did well and kept my focus the whole time which was a challenge but it was fun."

His main objective even before his first full season began was shaving off the body fat and redefining his body structure. He was able to do that by shedding nearly 20 pounds over the course of last offseason.

From there he wanted to get a more consistent swing going and build his confidence up as a good starting point to his career, two more things he says he was able to accomplish in 2012.

"I think my main overall goal was just to stay consistent because I've never played baseball for that long of a duration coming from Seattle," he said. "We'd start and then it rains -- we never had this long of a season.

"Just staying consistent and focusing on the day on the tasks at hand was the main thing. With my swing I was just staying back with my hands and trying to use my whole body's power, that's what I'm trying to do now.

"I felt like I had an outstanding defensive season which is great because if you can play defense well it's only a plus."

Getting used to playing that many games in a row for the first time can be problematic and even though his confidence or approach never waned, the production did.

A standout earlier in his season, he hit .311 in his first eleven games with the Gulf Coast League Yankees with six doubles, but then hit just .184 the rest of the way in his remaining 35 games.

"At the beginning of the season I had the confidence to take any pitch," he said. "I felt like I could hit anything; 0-2 and a changeup away and I could slap a double or something. I was doing well.

"I guess you could say the hits just weren't falling later [in the season]. The results weren't the same but nothing changed. My approach was still the same and I was trying to stay consistent with that."

It may take some time for him to get accustomed to the rigors of a long season and that could be the case with getting stronger too, a component of his game that as a first baseman he realizes he'll need down the road.

"I started the offseason at about 195 and now I'm weighing 200 [pounds]. It's going to be a slow process but I'm going to be putting on good weight. I'm just eating right and lifting heavy, that's what I'm doing right now.

"I'd say as a first baseman it's about getting my man muscles or whatever you want to call it, but that will come with age and working out. I'm not too worried about it but it is something I'll need as a first baseman."

Not every burgeoning big league prospect comes right out of the chute with a quickly advancing game -- some take time to develop. Jones appears to fall into the latter category but he is ready for the steady work that will be needed to be done to transform his game in the coming years.

"It's all about taking the work I do now and putting it into the games and practices. I think that I can do that.

"Offensively I just want to keep my confidence and just have my numbers reflect it. I'm not too worried about defense. Mainly I'm focusing on hitting," he concluded.

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2012 GCL Yankees .223 148 11 0 12 23 0 17 39 .307 .297
2011 GCL Yankees .260 50 1 0 2 3 0 5 17 .327 .290


Batting and Power. Jones has a few things working in his favor at an early age; he shows a short compact stroke, good plate discipline and a patient approach, and an ability to use the whole field, all of which are good signs of him eventually becoming a good hitter. His biggest problem is a current lack of strength and it not only affects his power numbers but his stamina hitting-wise too. That is an area of his game that could take some to develop but there is some potential to get much stronger down the road and that should help his consistency as a hitter.

Base Running and Speed. A physically svelte specimen right now, while he would appear to have some running ability at first glance he is simply not quick at all. Like most first baseman, he projects to have little to no impact in the running game.

Defense. His lack of speed does limit his defensive options to first base. While he's not quick, Jones is quite agile and has excellent hands. He is pretty advanced making the short-hop scoops out of the dirt at a young age and while the range is average at best he does position himself well. He is an average to above average defensive first baseman right now with room to get even better long-term.

Projection. Jones is a much more complete player than the numbers bear out at the current time. He shows a solid foundation to be a good hitter for average down the road, one who could be a very good extra-base hitter should the power continue to trend upwards, and he is far from a defensive liability at first base. As is the case with most first base prospects, however, his game will only go as far as his developing home run power will take him and that's an area of his game that could take a while to develop. The power potential right now projects to be average at best and that might not change for some time. He is more of a wait-and-see prospect until something changes power-wise.

ETA. N/A. Jones could really benefit from another year in the short-season leagues and is probably ticketed for either another season at the Gulf Coast League level or perhaps a slight bump up to Staten Island if things go well in Extended Spring Training next season.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Austin Jones
\r\nPosition: First Base
\r\nDOB: August 20, 1992
\r\nHeight: 6'1\"
\r\nWeight: 200
\r\nBats: Left
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\n
\r\n\"The season itself went great,\" he said. \"I started off well. My numbers went down towards the end of July and into August but I don't think my game plan ever changed.
\r\n
\r\n\"I felt really comfortable the entire year so I think it was an awesome year for me personally. I only hit .220 or something like but I'm not worried about that. I had a lot of confidence in myself.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs is the case with most first-year players, there were several \"firsts\" he had to experience; Spring Training, Extended Spring Training, and getting accustomed to the daily grind of playing everyday, which isn't always easy for somebody from the northwest.
\r\n
\r\n\"Extended [Spring Training] was kind of grind,\" he admitted. \"I had never been through something like that. It kind of feels like practice games and there's no real stats or anything, the scoreboard is not even on.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was a grind but I thought I did well and kept my focus the whole time which was a challenge but it was fun.\"
\r\n
\r\nHis main objective even before his first full season began was shaving off the body fat and redefining his body structure. He was able to do that by shedding nearly 20 pounds over the course of last offseason.
\r\n
\r\nFrom there he wanted to get a more consistent swing going and build his confidence up as a good starting point to his career, two more things he says he was able to accomplish in 2012.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think my main overall goal was just to stay consistent because I've never played baseball for that long of a duration coming from Seattle,\" he said. \"We'd start and then it rains -- we never had this long of a season.
\r\n
\r\n\"Just staying consistent and focusing on the day on the tasks at hand was the main thing. With my swing I was just staying back with my hands and trying to use my whole body's power, that's what I'm trying to do now.
\r\n
\r\n\"I felt like I had an outstanding defensive season which is great because if you can play defense well it's only a plus.\"
\r\n
\r\nGetting used to playing that many games in a row for the first time can be problematic and even though his confidence or approach never waned, the production did.
\r\n
\r\nA standout earlier in his season, he hit .311 in his first eleven games with the Gulf Coast League Yankees with six doubles, but then hit just .184 the rest of the way in his remaining 35 games.
\r\n
\r\n\"At the beginning of the season I had the confidence to take any pitch,\" he said. \"I felt like I could hit anything; 0-2 and a changeup away and I could slap a double or something. I was doing well.
\r\n
\r\n\"I guess you could say the hits just weren't falling later [in the season]. The results weren't the same but nothing changed. My approach was still the same and I was trying to stay consistent with that.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt may take some time for him to get accustomed to the rigors of a long season and that could be the case with getting stronger too, a component of his game that as a first baseman he realizes he'll need down the road.
\r\n
\r\n\"I started the offseason at about 195 and now I'm weighing 200 [pounds]. It's going to be a slow process but I'm going to be putting on good weight. I'm just eating right and lifting heavy, that's what I'm doing right now.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'd say as a first baseman it's about getting my man muscles or whatever you want to call it, but that will come with age and working out. I'm not too worried about it but it is something I'll need as a first baseman.\"
\r\n
\r\nNot every burgeoning big league prospect comes right out of the chute with a quickly advancing game -- some take time to develop. Jones appears to fall into the latter category but he is ready for the steady work that will be needed to be done to transform his game in the coming years.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's all about taking the work I do now and putting it into the games and practices. I think that I can do that.
\r\n
\r\n\"Offensively I just want to keep my confidence and just have my numbers reflect it. I'm not too worried about defense. Mainly I'm focusing on hitting,\" he concluded.
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

Year

\r\n

Team

\r\n

AVG

\r\n

AB

\r\n

2B

\r\n

HR

\r\n

RBI

\r\n

R

\r\n

SB

\r\n

BB

\r\n

SO

\r\n

OBP

\r\n

SLG

\r\n 2012\r\n GCL Yankees\r\n .223\r\n 148\r\n 11\r\n 0\r\n 12\r\n 23\r\n 0\r\n 17\r\n 39\r\n .307\r\n .297
\r\n 2011\r\n GCL Yankees\r\n .260\r\n 50\r\n 1\r\n 0\r\n 2\r\n 3\r\n 0\r\n 5\r\n 17\r\n .327\r\n .290

\r\n
\r\nBatting and Power. Jones has a few things working in his favor at an early age; he shows a short compact stroke, good plate discipline and a patient approach, and an ability to use the whole field, all of which are good signs of him eventually becoming a good hitter. His biggest problem is a current lack of strength and it not only affects his power numbers but his stamina hitting-wise too. That is an area of his game that could take some to develop but there is some potential to get much stronger down the road and that should help his consistency as a hitter.
\r\n
\r\nBase Running and Speed. A physically svelte specimen right now, while he would appear to have some running ability at first glance he is simply not quick at all. Like most first baseman, he projects to have little to no impact in the running game.
\r\n
\r\nDefense. His lack of speed does limit his defensive options to first base. While he's not quick, Jones is quite agile and has excellent hands. He is pretty advanced making the short-hop scoops out of the dirt at a young age and while the range is average at best he does position himself well. He is an average to above average defensive first baseman right now with room to get even better long-term.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. Jones is a much more complete player than the numbers bear out at the current time. He shows a solid foundation to be a good hitter for average down the road, one who could be a very good extra-base hitter should the power continue to trend upwards, and he is far from a defensive liability at first base. As is the case with most first base prospects, however, his game will only go as far as his developing home run power will take him and that's an area of his game that could take a while to develop. The power potential right now projects to be average at best and that might not change for some time. He is more of a wait-and-see prospect until something changes power-wise.
\r\n
\r\nETA. N/A. Jones could really benefit from another year in the short-season leagues and is probably ticketed for either another season at the Gulf Coast League level or perhaps a slight bump up to Staten Island if things go well in Extended Spring Training next season.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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