Saturday, January 5, 2013

DrB's 2013 Giants Top 50 Prospects #18: Charles Jones

Charles "Chuckie" Jones, OF.  DOB:  7/28/1992.  6'3", 235 lbs.  B-R, T-R.

Low A:  .093/.161/.163, 1 HR in 93 PA.
Short Season:  .237/.348/.364, 6 HR, 4 SB, 13.1 BB%, 24.1 K%.

Chuckie Jones was a great story from the 2010 draft.  Taken by the Giants in the 7'th round out of a small HS in a small town in Missouri.  Had some tough breaks as a kid growing up. He idolized Albert Pujols.  Heck, he even LOOKED a little bit like Albert Pujols.  He played both baseball and football but decided to go all in for baseball and sign if he got a decent bonus offer.  Giants grabbed him 1 pick ahead of his homestate Cardinals who reportedly were also in on him.  Just the story alone created a bit of irrational exuberance among Giants prospect watchers, including me.

If expectations were already a bit on the high side, they went off the charts after a successful pro debut that same summer in the AZL:  .279/.360/.461, 7 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 6 SB.  Jones had a series of oblique injuries the following spring and didn't show up in boxscores until short season ball in Salem-Keizer where he put up modest numbers:  .218/322/.315.

Things seemed to hit rock bottom in the spring of 2012 as he fell flat on his face in low A ball.  He got sent back to Salem-Keizer when the short season leagues started and managed to pick himself up off the floor putting up respectable overall numbers and improving as the season progressed.  Here are his monthly splits from S-K:

June:  .212/.353/.308, 1 HR in 52 AB.
July:   .240/.339/.344, 2 HR in 96 AB.
August:  .264/.366/.448, 3 HR in 87 AB.

I still think Charles Jones has one of the higher ceilings in the organization.  I would point to his improvement over the course of this last season as well as his >10 BB% at every stop so far as positive signs going forward.  His K rate, which topped 30% at every previous stop came down to a manageable 24.7% in Salem-Keizer(although it admittedly went back up above 30% in August, his best month).

I would expect to see him back in Augusta to start 2013 in what could be a pivotal season for him.  He still has considerable bust potential, but man, that ceiling is still there!


  1. Hey DrB, have you heard about this kid David Denson who smashed a 515ft homerun??

    1. Yeah, I've seen a video of it. LG may be interested that he's committed to Hawaii. I haven't seen his names on any top 100 draft lists but that could change a la Dan Vogelbach now that he's hit those gargantuan HR's.

    2. He has a smooth swing in the video. I see him being a high draft pick out of college. I've heard some people say he might possibly be drafted in one of the first ten rounds.

    3. Thanks, Its interesting that Denson doesn't appear on any Hawaii Recruiting list I've seen. This is the 1st time I've heard of the Amateur Baseball Development Academy that this kid is in and he will play high school baseball for the 1st time this year as a Senior. Thats probably why he doesn't appear on a top 100 list. It would be awesome if Hawaii did recruit him and to follow his progress during his senior season.


  2. Chuckie jones, chuckie jones...
    Does whatever chuckie jones does.
    Swings his bat...just like that...
    Look out...chuckie jones!

    Sung to Spider-Man of course. I think they played the Charlie Brown sad music as Charles walked dejected back to the dugout. Reports of him taking every K as a huge failure at Augusta, and the Gints pulling him out sound about right.

    Nice aggressive ranking! I think it's way to early to give up on the legend of Chuckie Jones. There is nice depth at CF with Yoot on its side.

  3. Like the write ups, although I don't think a 7th round pick has true "bust potential" because he's a 7th round pick...

    He's only 20 or 21, so Low A is appropriate. I have to think that coming from a small town in a state not known for a huge baseball talent pool, the learning curve was probably pretty tough on him. Probably didn't see a whole lot of 90+ fastballs and advancing breaking stuff. As for all baseball players, its a game of adjustments, his job now is to hit well enough where pitchers have to change their approach to him... until then, hope he's working hard and pans out!

    1. You might want to do a little research on the success rate of 7'th round draft picks, but yeah, I'm still cautiously optimistic about Chuckie Jones and believe if he does make it, his ceiling is very high.

    2. Or maybe you mean 7'th round picks never make it. Well, I guess we can get hung up on semantics and terminology here, but I'll stick with him having a high bust potential but a big upside.

    3. Oh, not trying to split hairs or start any arguments, my thinking was just that as a 7th round pick with a lot of potential, if he pans out, we hit the jackpot and if he doesn't, well, he's just a 7th round pick... Not like squandering a Top 5 selection in the 1st round!

      As such, I prefer taking fliers on high upside HS players in that 5-12 round range where you have a real possibility of signing them.

    4. I agree with that take. Late single digit rounds are great rounds for going for pure upside.

  4. The Giants typically send their newly drafted college pitchers to the NWL. Do other teams do the same? My question is whether the pitching should be as good, if not tougher, in the NWL as SAL, especially late in the NWL season? I think his problem is mostly mental, and his progress in 2012 bodes well for his future.

    1. The NWL is a league made up of a combination of newly drafted college players and rookie league graduates, some of whom were drafted the previous year out of college and some out of high school. The SAL is made up of a mixture of HS and college players in their first full season after typically spending the post-draft summer in rookie ball and short season leagues like the NWL.

      It used to be that most HS draftees went to rookie league and then on to low A ball while college draftees went to short season ball such as the NWL then on to High A ball. It is much more mixed than that these days.

      For instance, the Giants drafted just one HS player in 2012 so most of the players assigned to rookie AZL team were either lower round college draftees or DSL graduates and a few holdovers from 2011 AZL.

      Then you have park and league effects to factor in. The SAL is much like the Eastern League in that it tends to favor pitchers the AZL tends to favor hitters and the NWL favors hitters, but less than the AZL or the Cal League.

  5. Yeah, despite all the talk about small samples, irrational expectations is part and parcel of being a prospect hound.

    There are a few key things to remember, I think. First is that he did do very well when he turned pro. That is skill and talent that exists. But it is kind of like Einstein's theory of relativity: in one age context, he ruled, in another, older, league, he didn't.

    Second is that he is not a top prospect. A top Giants prospect, but not a top prospect. The top prospects has the pedigree to do well in the minors by 22-23 and rise to the majors. Good prospects can and should take longer to matriculate, to around his mid-20's or so.

    Chuck still was only 19 YO for the purposes of the 2012 season, though an old 19 YO as he turned 20 YO at the end of July. So he was still very young for the Northwest League, yet did pretty well there - relatively - given that the average age in the league there was 21.3 for pitchers, 21.0 for hitters. Augusta was a bit older but not a lot - 21.7 for hitters and pitchers. So he was battling guys who had 2-3 years of extra experience over him in the Sally, only 1-2 years on him in NWL.

    Top prospects generally (Baseball Forecaster rule of thumb) are in A-ball at age 19-20, Advanced A at age 20, AA at age 21, AAA at age 22 ( So given that he's not a top prospect, he really should not be expected to do really well in Augusta. It would have been nice if he did, but no real shame that he didn't.

    I didn't know that he improved by month in S-K, so I view that as encouraging. Unless someone is a top prospect, I would not pay as much attention to his overall batting line - though obviously it would be great if he did - and look more towards improvement as the season progresses.

    I'm especially excited by two things in the monthly stats. First is that he was able to maintain a high OBP every month (as DrB noted, he had a lot of walks), despite not really hitting that well. Second is that he was actually above average in his last month in his batting line, not quite dominant, but again, the competition had an experiential advantage over him, so I focus more on that he was above average in spite of his disadvantage, and less on that he was not that great. Plus, again, he's not a top prospect, so we must temper our expectations.

    The big negative is that he's still striking out way too much. It is great, though, that when he does make contact, he does great damage. So that, I think, will be his key challenge, which was very evident in recent seasons, obviously, but I agree that Jones still has the potential to be a average to good player for us, as long as he can continue to develop.

    But as D-backs prospects of recent seasons have shown, if you can do great damage when making contact, even guys who strike out a lot can be cheap contributors to the lineup while providing good value. Jones still has that potential, but we should not be expecting him to do this anytime soon, he will be taking his time moving up the ladder. And to DrB's point, 2013 will be pivotal, he needs to continue to show the advancement he showed at the end of the 2012 season, to show that his potential can be developed.

  6. the giants took a chance on another kid from small town missouri (Micah Holst/Higginsville, Mo)---he made it eventually to AAA for a cup of coffee and here is hoping that chuckie can go higher!