The Orioles are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2014 after winning an American League Wild Card. As this will be the first time that many fans across the Majors will be focusing on their roster, here's our attempt to learn the origins of outfielder Adam Jones.Adam
The Orioles are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2014 after winning an American League Wild Card. As this will be the first time that many fans across the Majors will be focusing on their roster, here's our attempt to learn the origins of outfielder Adam Jones.
Adam Jones, CF
Born: San Diego, Calif.
HS: Morse (Calif.) High School
Minors: AZL Mariners (R), Everett (A-), Wisconsin (A), Inland Empire (A+), San Antonio (AA), Tacoma (AAA)
:: Before they were Postseason-bound: Select a player ::
Path to Baltimore: Jones was selected by the Mariners in the first round of the 2003 Draft and made his MLB debut in 2006. He was traded to the Orioles after two seasons in Seattle in the Erik Bedard trade, which also brought Chris Tillman to Baltimore.
Trophy case: Five-time American League All-Star with the Orioles (2009, '12-15). Four-time Gold Glove winner as a center fielder (2009, '12-14). Silver Slugger in '13.
Famous feat(s): Has six straight 25-home-run seasons going back to 2011 -- the only player in baseball to have 25 homers each of the last six seasons. Drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of the 2009 All-Star Game with a sacrifice fly off Heath Bell, which turned out to be the difference in the AL's 4-3 win. Hit the final triple at the old Yankee Stadium before it closed, on Sept. 21, 2008, off Yankees Core Four member Andy Pettitte.
You might not know: Jones has always been an outfielder throughout his Major League career, and a center fielder since he joined the Orioles. (He has moved to the corner outfield in All-Star Games, most recently to accommodate Mike Trout in center.) But Jones actually was drafted as a shortstop, and played there for his first three Minor League seasons, before he transitioned to the outfield late in 2005.
Six degrees of Willie Aikens: Jones had barely turned 20 years old when he headed to the Arizona Fall League in 2005. Jones played for the Peoria Javelinas, on a roster that included Prince Fielder, as well as other future big leaguers like Nick Markakis, Jones' eventual teammate in Baltimore, and Alcides Escobar, who was even younger than Jones when he played in the AFL.
Taking a stand: With NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other football players kneeling during the national anthem this season to protest racial injustice, Jones was asked why he thought baseball players haven't also protested. Jones pointed to the relative lack of African-American players in the Major Leagues compared to the NFL, making it riskier for them to speak out.
"Here's my biggest thing," Jones said. "Society doesn't mind us helping out the hood and the inner cities, but they have a problem when we speak about the hood and the inner cities. I don't understand it."
Playing for America: Jones has participated in multiple international baseball competitions. First, he represented the United States in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, the only Oriole on the U.S. national team. (There were other Orioles in the Classic, like Pedro Strop, who played for the Dominican Republic, and Jonathan Schoop, who played for The Netherlands.) In '14, Jones also traveled to Japan with the team of MLB All-Stars to play the 2014 MLB Japan All-Star Series.
When U.S. manager Joe Torre called him to ask if he wanted to play in the World Baseball Classic, Jones said he answered, "Of course I want to play for my country," explaining that "I take pride in something like that."
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler.