Playing for the Surprise Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, St. Louis Cardinals prospect Daryl Jones has alternated between leading off and batting eighth with some sixth-place appearances, too. Eight of his 18 hits have been for extra bases and he leads the club in both walks (13) and stolen bases (six).
His 26 strikeouts in 88 at-bats is the highest total on the team and eighth in the league. Jones’ slash line is .205/.333/.352. He was selected to the West Division roster for the Arizona Fall League’s all-star game, called the Rising Stars Showcase.
The 22-year-old was the Cardinals organization’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2008, but struggled this season with injuries. Jones did participate in the MLB Futures Game in conjunction with the All-Star Game festivities in St. Louis in July.
Andre David is the manager of the Surprise Rafters of the Arizona Fall League in 2009. Coming from the Kansas City Royals system, I thought it would be interesting to get his comments on the St. Louis Cardinals hitters on his squad.
Before he answered my initial question about what he is looking for from Jones specifically, David went out of his way to recognize the work ethic of the position players the Cardinals organization assigned to the Arizona Fall League.
“Jonesy, like the other three (Cardinals) that are here have done a good job with their work,” David explained. That is important to know that they came down here not just to play games but better themselves in whatever aspect they need to work on.
“For Jonesy, it is the ability to get on base, steal bases. I think he’s got six or seven right now, which is pretty good for 20 games already or wherever we are at. The other thing is just to get good pitches to hit and stay with a good gap-to-gap approach and he has done that.”
With Jones having moved all over David’s lineup from top to bottom, I was curious as to where he sees the outfielder ultimately fitting best.
“I see him as a number six or seven hitter, an RBI kind of guy, and you can put him at the top of the lineup,” the manager replied.
Defensively, David has also experimented with Jones. Normally, a left fielder, Jones has seen time in centerfield and right field as well.
“Right now I put him in all areas when I play him in the outfield, just to challenge him,” David explained. “And he has risen to the challenge. As long as he sees his name in the lineup, he is ready to do what we ask of him. There is nothing wrong with that as long as he is getting his at-bats and developing.”
Exclusive for Scout.com/The Cardinal Nation subscribers: In an audio interview, Jones discusses his 2008 season, injuries in 2009, his AFL to-date as well as his hopes for the future.
Listen to Audio (6:22)
TCN has you covered!
As every year, The Cardinal Nation, stlcardinals.scout.com, is your leader in independent first-hand reporting on and from the Arizona Fall League. Keep checking back for daily for new reports on the Cardinals prospects playing for the Surprise Rafters this fall.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.
Follow Brian on Twitter.
© 2009 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be broadcast, published, rewritten or redistributed.