Tim Jones was a backup shortstop for the Cardinals from 1988 to 1993 and, to no fault of his own, he was easily my least favorite player during that stretch. Growing up almost two hours from St. Louis, I was lucky to go to more than one game a year, and if my family spent a Saturday to head down to old Busch and Jones was in the lineup that usually meant Ozzie Smith wasn’t. This happened a few times and I was angry at him every time which in retrospect was 100% unfair. The words that follow are my penance.
A few things about Jones: First, he was picked in the second round of the 1985 amateur draft out of the Citadel. Second, he might have the shortest Wikipedia entry for any former MLB player. Third, he was a world-class athlete. I know this because he played in the highest level of professional baseball for six seasons and saw 500+ plate appearances.
Compared to the other world-class athletes who shared his time of employment, he was a rather underwhelming player. From 1988 to 1993, he was one of only 13 position players with one home run or less while logging at least 400 plate appearances. And his career stat line bears some resemblance with Pete Kozma’s:
- Kozma: 689 PA, .222/.288/.293, 58 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR
- Jones: 545 PA, .233/.300/.295, 68 wRC+, 0.3 fWAR
Unlike Kozma, Jones didn’t have a signature moment with the club (did any Cardinal have a single signature moment from 1988 to 1993?), and searching for some video proof of Jones’s time with the Cardinals only returns results of former Missouri Speaker of the House Tim Jones talking about the Cardinals hacking scandal. His name does sound like an assigned Witness Protection identity but Jones did exist, and on August 19th of the forgotten 1990 season, he hit his only home run of his career in the bottom of the 8th inning off the Astros’ Brian Fisher to help the Cardinals win the game. He spent his entire career with the Cardinals and that’s good enough for me.
So there you go, that’s Tim Jones.
Here’s what you may have missed yesterday at VEB:
Joe Schwarz analyzed Alex Reyes’s heat and off-speed filth.
I learned that Adam Wainright had an unusually high BABIP in 2016.
The Red Baron broke down OF prospect Jonathan Machado.
Due to his fantastic charity work, Carlos Martinez was this year’s recipient of the BBWAA St. Louis Baseball Man of the Year.
Site manager Craig Edwards answered your Yadi-related questions and other such topics live on Facebook.
Ben Markham thinks Jhonny Peralta and Jedd Gyorko could be two very similar players in 2017.
That’s it, have a great weekend everyone.