2022 MLB Draft Profile: OF/1B Spencer Jones, Vanderbilt

Spencer Jones.

This will be the largest human profiled in this series. It’s on Vanderbilt’s Spencer Jones, who I had on a big board when he was coming out of a local Southern California high school three years ago.

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Previous Profiles

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Vitals
6’7, 225 pounds
Position: Outfielder/First base
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
DOB: May 14, 2001

Location
Nashville, Tenn.
Year: Junior

Rankings
The Athletic: 90
Baseball America: 49
CBS Sports: NR
ESPN: 20
FanGraphs: 28
MLB Pipeline: 51
Perfect Game: 19
Prospects Live: 29

Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $1,950,900

Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.

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Vanderbilt has becoming one of the best schools at producing MLB players and prospects. The Dodgers have Walker Buehler and David Price (and Carson Fulmer at Triple-A OKC) and have drafted three other players from Vandy in the Billy Gasparino era — Phil Pfeifer (2015), Jordan Sheffield (2016) and Jeren Kendall (2017). All except Kendall have spent time on an MLB 40-man roster. Jones has a chance to be the next great hitter to come out of Nashville.

Not many hitters with Jones’ size are successful in the majors. The longer arms make it harder to consistently out the barrel on the ball. However, Jones has figured out not only how to do that, but also how to do that with authority. He has easy plus-raw power from the left side and lots of natural loft. He’s also adept at peppering the left-center field gap, ala Freddie Freeman. While he has that raw power, he hasn’t been able to show it consistently in-game, and that raises questions about him getting to pitches on the inner-half of the dish. He also has a tough time against breaking pitches, something that will have to improve if he’s to approach his ceiling. If he can protect the inside part of the plate while spitting on breaking balls, he could take off.

Jones is not only athletic for his size, he athletic, period. He’s not going to be mistaken for Ichiro Suzuki in right field or on the bases, but he’s plenty capable of being a plus-defender with a plus-arm. He was a legitimate 2-way prospect coming out of La Coasta Canyon High School, but he had Tommy John surgery in 2020 and ditched pitching.

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Video

https://twitter.com/FarmToFame_/status/1505297998221561857

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Because of his size, the easy comp is Aaron Judge. But it’s actually legit. Judge has been able to make his 6-foot-7, 282-pound frame work for him. Jones won’t ever put on that kind of weight, but it’s more the height that matters here. He could be a middle-of-the-order stick if he’s able to turn on pitches at the next level and reduce the whiffs. He probably won’t make it to the 40th selection, but if he does, he has one of the highest ceilings of anyone who could be available at that point.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.