3B/OF Nolan Jones (AAA)
Ranked No. 1 in Prospect1500’s list of the Indians’ top minor league players.
The man who inspired this list is Nolan Jones himself. He’s had a good run in the minor leagues so far, hitting .257, .317, .283, and .272 in each of his first four seasons with the Indians minor league team. In 2021, however, he completely forgot how to hit at the plate.
Jones is hitting just .238 so far in 2021. His on-base and slugging aren’t great either, with a .356 OBP and a .431 SLG. That has brought his OPS down to .787. The lowest of any full season he’s had since 2016. His saving grace for this year has been the fact his power numbers have all stayed on pace or improved but for the number one overall player in the minors, he has to be better than staying on pace.
Jones’ biggest issue since getting called up to High-A ball has been strikeouts. He strikes out at an obscene rate. He’s striking out 35% of the time at the plate and while that’s about 5% more than average, his walks have declined as well. He’d average a base-on-balls around 20-22% of the time. In 2021, that’s fallen to 17%.
With his declining ability to stay patient at the plate, his higher rate of strikeouts, and his declining average, Jones’ 21 has been one of the more dreadful parts of the season regardless of player or team.
Many thought Jones would be ready to be called up for the 2021 season but he’s far from ready as of right now.