As the Yankees prepare to face the Orioles this weekend, there’s hope outfielder Aaron Judge will be returning from the injured list. Whenever he does, New York could still use another outfielder. It’s too bad top prospect Spencer Jones isn’t ready for the big leagues yet.
But whenever he is, one scout thinks he’ll be there for the long haul.
Bill Pintard is the head coach of the Santa Barbara Foresters, a team Jones played on for two summers while at Vanderbilt. Pintard also has more than 20 years of MLB scouting experience between the Angels and Yankees.
He sat down with Max Goodman of NJ.com for what ended up being an extended look into Jones and what others think of his future. The entire article is well worth the time to read it. However, what Pintard said is what sticks out the most.
The longtime scout wrote that Jones was “destined to be a Yankee” in his report on him prior to the 2022 MLB Draft. He also said this to Goodman:
I expect Spencer Jones to be an everyday Yankee for 10 years and have some All-Star appearances, hitting 30 home runs a season. He’s an intelligent guy with movie star looks. He’s already got the Yankee demeanor. He has the potential to be a star.
Holy smokes — talk about heaping on the expectations, right? At this point, Jones has been with the organization for just over a year after New York took him with the 25th overall pick in 2022.
MLB.com has Jones ranked as the Yankees’ third-best prospect. Entering this season, Baseball Prospectus tabbed him as the game’s 57th-best prospect. He followed that up with an appearance in the 2023 Futures Game at T-Mobile Park in Seattle a couple of weeks ago.
Jones needed just 106 plate appearances after getting drafted last year to show he was ready to move on from Rookie Ball and Single-A. The outfielder slashed .344/.425/.538 with 10 extra-base hits (six doubles, four homers), 12 RBI, 21 runs scored, and 12 steals during that time.
He’s spent the entirety of this season with High-A Hudson Valley and has continued to show what he’s capable of. In 357 plate appearances, Jones is hitting .275/.345/.484. That includes 39 extra-base hits (23 doubles, four triples, 12 homers), 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and 23 steals.
Not bad for a 22-year-old getting his first crack at full-season ball. MLB.com currently has 2025 as Jones’ estimated time of arrival in the big leagues. So, we’ll see how his progression goes. Regardless of his path from here, one thing is for sure — high expectations will follow the 6’6″ outfielder.
I mean, before jumping into the results of his conversations, Goodman provided an unreal trifecta of comparisons. He dubbed Jones as having Aaron Judge’s size and Giancarlo Stanton’s power. Oh, as well as the potential to have Derek Jeter’s level of stardom.
Phew. I guess the Yankees have high hopes for this kid, huh?