Yankees not in a rush to promote Spencer Jones despite big offensive surge

Sara Molnick
Thursday July 4, 2024

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Prospect Spencer Jones is making a strong offensive stride in the minors. His June record stood at .296 BA, six home runs, and 29 RBIs. However, the New York Yankees choose to be patient with his development and seem to be in no rush to promote him.

Jones leads the Eastern League in strikeouts with 107 but also ranks fourth in stolen bases (18) and fifth in RBIs (45), highlighting his versatile abilities alongside areas needing refinement. These statistics illustrate his potential and room for growth.

The prospect is one of two Yankees rookies (the other one is Brock Selvidge) selected to participate in the All-Star Futures Game, adding to his recent accolade as the Eastern League Player of the Week. Jones, a 23-year-old outfielder currently playing for Double-A Somerset, is ranked as the Yankees’ second-best prospect, trailing only the injured Jasson Dominguez.

However, Jones’ impressive performance, including a recent four-hit, multi-homer game, and 7 RIB game, has not accelerated his promotion to the major leagues. Kevin Reese, the Yankees’ vice president of player development, stressed a cautious approach to his development. Reese explained that larger players like Jones often need more time to reach their full potential, drawing comparisons to former Yankees Dellin Betances and Aaron Judge, both of whom had extended development periods due to their size.

Yankees' prospect Spencer Jones
Spencer Jones

“The exciting thing about Spencer is, he has days where he gets four hits and hits moonshots and steals bases, but we talk a lot in the organization about [Dellin] Betances [and] Aaron Judge and how bigger bodies take a little bit of time to grow into themselves,’’ Reese explained. “Spencer is super-athletic, but he’s got some things he still needs to work on, and I don’t think anyone thought there wouldn’t be any speed bumps along the way. He’s pretty much on schedule for us.”

Reese underscored the necessity of patience in nurturing talent, using Judge’s career as an illustrative example. He pointed out that Judge’s rise to stardom was a blend of innate skill and diligent effort, reinforcing that player development is a continuous journey.

Jones compared to Judge

Similar to Judge, Jones was a late first-round pick by the Yankees, with Judge being selected 32nd overall from Fresno State in 2013 and Jones chosen 25th overall from Vanderbilt in 2022. Judge’s breakout season occurred at age 25, while Betances became an All-Star reliever at 26.

Spencer Jones is with Aaron Judge at Yankees spring training facility in Tampa 2024

Reese acknowledged Jones’ ongoing development needs but expressed satisfaction with his progress. He noted that Jones is on the right track, with an understanding that growth would come with its challenges.

“If anything, the lesson to be learned [with Judge] is patience,” the Yankees VP said. “Aaron did some things that made him the player that he is. It helped that he was gifted, but he worked his butt off and wasn’t afraid to take some risks along the way in his development. That’s probably the biggest takeaway. The story is never fully written. The development process never really ends.”

Additionally, Double-A left-handed pitcher Brock Selvidge has been selected for Futures Games, set for July 13 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. This event offers a platform for top prospects to showcase their abilities on a national stage.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Yankees not in a rush to promote Spencer Jones despite big offensive surge

  1. Spencer Jones, despite his almost .300 BA and his over .530 SLG in June, he is still striking out a ton – both swinging and looking. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that his BPIPBA was something like .435, that’s how how his KBA was. I substitute K for hits to get the KBA. I believe he has another month of 44Ks, in only 108 AB.

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