The Marlins minor league affiliate feeder farm system is finally chock full of prospects.
Currently ranked as high as fourth in various publications, the Marlins cupboard was bare, but not anymore.
Thomas Jones was Miami’s third round choice in the 2016 MLB Amateur Entry Draft, 84th overall off the board. Born on this date 22-years-ago, Jones joined the Rookie-level GCL Marlins in the Gulf Coast League after his selection, and went 15-for-64 in 19 contests.
In 2017, Miami promoted Jones, at that time their number seven prospect according to the MLB Pipeline, to the Short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs, in the New York-Penn League. A 6-foot-4, 195 lb. right-handed hitter and thrower, Jones hit just .181 in 68 games for the Dogs.
Still a ranked prospect in 2018, Jones fell to number 26 on Miami’s list. Promoted to the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League, he hit .222/.277/.343 with nine home runs and 33 RBI. He also stole 20 bases, but struck out 32 percent of the time in 103 contests.
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Ranked as Miami’s number 30 prospect at the start of the 2019 campaign, Jones remained at the middle-A level for the club, although their affiliation changed from the Hoppers to the Clinton LumberKings, in the Midwest League. He improved his slashline to .239/.332/.382 with 10 homers, 54 RBI, and 19 stolen bases while dropping his whiff-rate two percent over 114 games.
As an outfielder, he has improved his fPCT from .944 to .969 (twice running) up to .976 this past season. Jones is not quite rule 5 draft eligible – that’s next offseason. In the meantime, it would behoove him to continue his improvement in 2020, likely with the High-A Florida State League’s Jupiter Hammerheads.
Jones is unlikely to be a ranked Miami prospect now that the farm system has been completely retooled, however, he has the tools to continue to advance. Considering more-or-less progression through the minor leagues, we would see him challenging for a roster spot out of 2022 Spring Training.