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Atlanta Braves Top 30 Prospects: No. 14, Mycal Jones

14. Mycal Jones, SS
B/T: R/R 2011 Age: 24 Ht: 5'10" Wt: 165
2010: (A-)
53 G, 219 PA, 12 2B, 6 HR, 34 RBI, 6 SB, 11 BB, 48 K
(A+) 69 G, 318 PA, 19 2B, 3B, 7 HR, 22 RBI, 15 SB, 31 BB, 66 K
(AA) 7 G, 33 PA, 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, SB, BB, 9 K

Mycal Jones was drafted by the Braves in the fourth round in 2009 out of junior college. Despite being a college product, he was drafted as a raw infielder with great athleticism. That showed in his first full season in 2010.

Jones struggled at the beginning of the season, but a big turnaround in May sparked what became a good year for him. His numbers at A- Rome are a product of his early slump, but the tear promoted him to A+ Myrtle Beach, not to mention he needed to be on the move at 23 years old. He had the most plate appearances at the Beach, where his numbers continued to improve all around, especially his on-base stats. A .361 wOBA and 122 wRC+ is great to see for Jones. He earned a promotion to AA Mississippi for the last week of the season, where he will return to begin 2011.

Jones' numbers spell out a raw hitter with decent on-base ability, decent zone discipline, a little more pop that you'd expect and smart base stealing ability. He will never have great walk rates and may strike out more than you'd like to see, but he keeps the on-base and power numbers respectable. Whether that will continue in the upper levels remains to be seen.

Jones is very raw on defense, showing good range but shaky motions and hands, resulting in a lot of errors. These things are fairly easy to improve on with time, and Jones is in the process of learning second base to further his development and time. Giving him the chance to learn a new position will only help his defense. With time, Jones should become a good defensive infielder, but not great.

Jones relies on his athleticism to further his development. His raw ability on offense and defense takes time to adjust, and it will only be tougher for him in AA. At 24 years old this season, he doesn't have a ton of time to toil between AA and AAA. If he can adjust quickly, there's no reason he can't be a candidate for a utility role by 2012. But there is a chance he could get stuck.

Three Things to Look For in 2011: 1) AA Jump 2) Defense 3) OBP
Destination in 2011: All at AA; chance of late promotion to AAA
ETA: 2012
Ceiling: Starting 2B or SS
My Prediction: Starting 2B for a few years; Utility Infielder the rest

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.