Name: Bubba Jones
Handedness: Bats left, throws right handed
Drafted: 2011 in the 7th round
Size: 6-foot-1, 205-pounds
Best Tool: Power
BBDP Rank: Unranked
Bubba Jones was drafted in 2011 with high expectations as a high schooler in the seventh round. The Yankees were able to snatch him away from the University of Arizona and sign him. Since then he had advances slowly but made progress each year. He grew up in Washington and while he played catcher and outfield in high school he was drafted as a first baseman.
So far in his career the power has not shown up statistically, but he is still expected to develop real power in due time. As an 18 year old in the year he was drafted, he hit .260/.327/.280/.607 in 15 games. 2011 was just a year to get his feet wet.
Then in 2012 he had another poor statistical season, batting .223/.307/.287/.605 in the GCL rookie league. He did manage to hit 11 doubles in 46 games but didn’t hit a single homerun, and his slugging percentage was a paltry .287.
This year Jones finally showed that he is trending upwards. He hit a career best .284/.348/.393/.741. Bubba hit two homeruns and had 17 doubles in 60 games. It was his best season as a pro by a long shot and an important step in the right direction. Next year as a 21 year old he will really have to start stepping it up with the power if he wants to be taken seriously.
Jones has a good, short swing and a patient approach at the plate. He sprays the ball throughout the field which bodes well for his future as a hitter. He hasn’t yet tapped into his power potential, but his size and his swing would suggest that it could be coming soon. In the end though, without much in the way of speed and being a first baseman the power must come at some point or he will find himself a career minor leaguer.
As said above, Jones doesn’t have much speed. He’s not going to steal any bases for you.
Defensively he is pretty slick with the glove. He doesn’t have the best range but he makes all of the picks. There’s no reason that he won’t stick at the position and he shouldn’t ever end up being a DH.
For Jones it will all come down to power.
Bubba’s ceiling is a 25+ homerun major league first baseman who can also hit for average. The main obstacle he faces in becoming that is learning to harness some of his power. His floor is a career minor leaguer. The likelihood that he reaches his ceiling is pretty low at this point, but that could change if the power comes along as it is expected to. There are a lot of ifs in his development.
He’ll start 2014 at Charleston. He’ll likely spend a full year at the level.
As of right now he’s probably a one level a year guy, putting his estimated arrival time at 2018.
Bubba Jones has a ton of potential as a first baseman. He’s got a long way to got and some things to improve, but with the right guidance and hard work he could end up being a top prospect if everything breaks right for him.