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Should Garrett Jones Get A Shot?

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There could be an in-house option available to updrade the DH position.

Garrett Jones is a name many Twins fans are familiar with.  He's the power-hitting strikeout-prone first baseman-turned-outfielder-sorta that Minnesota has been reluctant to promote to the majors.  As player molds go, he isn't a guy who has the tools the organization looks for in role players; his defense isn't flashy, he isn't quick, he generally doesn't hit for average.  Generally.  In the waning days of June, Jones will turn 26, and will be on his way to completing his third consecutive season in Rochester.

For the first time since 2004, Jones actually is hitting for average.  While I don't expect that this is a sudden change in approach, when combined with the Twins lack of offensive depth, could it be a good time for the Twins to get a look at Garrett in Minneapolis?

Looking at the numbers it's easy to see that Jones is anything but a sure bet. With 709 career minor league strikeouts in 2713 at-bats, it'd be nice to think that the patience the organization is showing with the slugger would rub off on his approach at the plate.  It certainly hasn't, but knowing that the K stands for Kryptonite, there are things that Jones could offer the Twins that current DH options Jason Tyner, Jason Kubel, Jeff Cirillo and Luis Rodriguez can't.

Power is a deceiving mistress, yet here it is.  76 homers over the last three years, 92 doubles and a .262/.322/.480 average thanks to a fantastic year in New Britain in '04.  On top of that, Jones is hitting .290/.339/.470 in Rochester after 26 games this spring, collecting only three homers but totaling 11 extra-base hits.

Year  Lvl   AB    H  2B  HR  RBI  BB   SO   Avg   Obp   Slg
2004   A+   66   16   5   1    6   4   19  .242  .286  .364
2004   AA  450  140  33  30   92  28   98  .311  .356  .593
2005  AAA  488  119  22  24   72  36  109  .244  .297  .445
2006  AAA  525  125  32  21   92  49  121  .238  .302  .430
2007  AAA  100   29   7   3   18   7   22  .290  .339  .470

This is by far Jones' best year in Rochester to date.  He's still striking out way too much, but his power and ability to get on base are at highs for his time in AAA.

Frankly, I'm not sure that giving Garrett Jones a shot at being the everyday DH for the Twins could make the offense any more anemic.  Jason Tyner (.677 OPS), Josh Rabe (.429), Luis Rodriguez (.529), Jason Kubel (.594) and Jeff Cirillo (.529) are combining to make the Twins DH position one of the most lackluster producers in the American League.  All of these players bring experience to the plate, but in the grand scheme of the game aren't producing enough runs.

Terry Ryan doesn't want to go outside of the organization to pick up a hitter.  Well, the options within the organization are slim pickings, and Garrett Jones could be the closest thing the Twins have to a major-league ready hitter.  Do his deficiencies black out the things he does do well, or is what he does well worth a shot?