Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Potential X-Factors for the 2017 Season

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Mar 16, 2017; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third base coach Dave Clark (25) high fives center fielder JaCoby Jones (40) as he rounds third base after hitting a home run in the second inning at Champion Stadium. The Tigers won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2017; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third base coach Dave Clark (25) high fives center fielder JaCoby Jones (40) as he rounds third base after hitting a home run in the second inning at Champion Stadium. The Tigers won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Mar 16, 2017; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones (40) reacts after hitting a home run against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

JaCoby Jones
Position: Center Field
Age: 24
Hits: Right-Handed

With Cameron Maybin now in the American League West following an offseason trade to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Detroit Tigers are in need of a new center fielder.

As of now, the candidates to replace Maybin include Tyler Collins, Mikie Mahtook, Anthony Gose and JaCoby Jones.

What’s more, Jones is looking more and more like a player capable of taking over the job on a full-time basis.

A potential plus defender due to his athleticism, Jones has been impressive at the plate so far this spring.

In 13 games in Grapefruit League play, the outfielder is batting .346 with a .393 on-base percentage, a .615 slugging percentage and a 1.008 OPS.

Jones has also chipped in with six runs scored, two home runs, two stolen bases, two RBI and a double.

What is perhaps most encouraging about the top prospect’s spring numbers is that he’s only struck out four times in 26 at-bats.

The fact that Jones is already starting to cut down on his strikeouts is promising considering he’s only 24.

If the former Pittsburgh Pirates farmhand can win the center field job, he could add an intriguing element to the Detroit Tigers lineup.

Jones brings plenty of speed and pop to the lineup, and it isn’t hard to imagine him producing 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases given a single season’s worth of at-bats.

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