Yankees’ Spencer Jones Has ‘Unbelievable’ Upside

Standing in at 6-foot-7, Spencer Jones naturally has a high ceiling.

Drafted 25th overall last year out of Vanderbilt, Jones is a center fielder who has quickly established himself as one of the organization’s best prospects as he heads into his first full pro season.

The last time the Yankees drafted a college outfielder in the first round was 2013, when they selected 6-foot-7 Aaron Judge 32nd overall.

“The qualities that Spencer has, they’re unbelievable,” Yankees hitting coordinator Joe Migliaccio said. “Just the skill set that he has. And as he continues to refine it all, it’s only going to get that much better.”

Jones showed plus game power and plus speed in his pro debut. Following a Florida Complex League warmup, he hit .325/.411/.494 in 22 games for Low-A Tampa while flashing consistent exit velocities of 100 mph or greater and a 10-for-10 showing on stolen bases.

Jones turns 22 this season. The powerful lefthanded hitter has the potential to rise quickly through the system and stick in center field.

“I don’t play video games,” Migliaccio said, “but if creating a player is still a thing, he’s the player you would build.”

Jones also earns high marks for his character, with a laid-back personality that often hides an ultra-competitive nature. It’s the kind of makeup that, along with his natural tools, gives the Yankees confidence that he was the perfect fit, with only minor adjustments needed to keep him on track.

Namely, making sure his strong bat-to-ball skills aren’t wasted with routine ground outs. The Yankees want Jones’ swing mechanics to produce consistent, hard line-drive contact.

“We don’t want him to have this loft and ‘hit fly ball’ approach,” Migliaccio said, “because then we probably get a swing that’s loopy, is too uphill and now he’s struggling with fastballs in the zone, fastballs with vertical break. 

“His value is going to come from crushing baseballs over the infielders’ heads. And a lot of times with him, it’s going to go over the outfielders’ heads too.”

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