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Legends On Deck

Adam Jones Starts Strong for Orioles

Adam Jones is a beloved player for the Baltimore Orioles. Before the season began, a contest took place on Twitter to determine who was the face of MLB. O’s fans feverishly voted using #AdamJones and #FaceOfMLB on Twitter and Jones secured a victory in the vote during the opening four rounds.

Jones advanced through to the semi-finals in the #FaceOfMLB vote but he ultimately fell short to David Wright of the New York Mets. You can see the full results here. Jones’ strong standing in this contest and even stronger performance on the field shows just how much he means to the Orioles and to the city of Baltimore.

The sentiments felt for Jones in Birdland are for good reason. Jones is a four time Rawlings AL Gold Glove winner, he has won the MLBPAA Orioles Heart and Hustle Award twice, and he is a four time MLB All Star. He is also a standout in the community helping underprivileged youth and for his efforts he recently earned the Babe Ruth Museum Community Service Award in 2014.

Jones has posted solid numbers for a good portion of his career. He finished in the top twenty-five in hits in the AL for the past five seasons. The center fielder has also finished in the top twenty-five in batting average and home runs for the last four seasons.

The veteran enters the 2015 season on the heels of one of the best seasons of his career. According to Baseball-Reference.com, in 159 games in the 2014 season Jones had 181 hits and scored 88 runs. Jones hit 29 home runs while notching 96 RBIs. His outstanding play coupled with his leadership helped Baltimore win their first AL East Division title since 1997 and advance to the ALCS.

Jones moved fast out of the gate and has been red hot through Baltimore’s opening fourteen games of the 2015 season. According to MLB.com, Jones currently is tied with Adrian Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the lead with a .442 AVG. Jones is also tied for 3rd in home runs with 5 and he’s currently tied for 1st with former teammate Nelson Cruz with 16 RBIs.

While Jones is off to a strong start to his 2015 campaign, the Baltimore Orioles are playing .500 baseball going 7-7 in their opening fourteen games. The O’s are only 2 games behind the Boston Red Sox for the division lead. However, Baltimore has allowed 20 runs in their last two games and will need to improve defensively to add to the win column.

The Orioles have an opportunity to pick up where they left off last season, but to accomplish this feat, they will need to overcome some adversity. The club lost two talented veterans during the off-season with the exits of Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis. For the O’s to be in contention for another division title, they will need to rely heavily on the talent and leadership of players like Adam Jones.

Out of the gate, Jones isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. However, the big question in Baltimore will be whether or not the squad can overcome their off-season losses and continue to be a force in the AL East. Jones has become the face of the Orioles and he will need another strong season to help Baltimore return to the post-season.

Tim Olewniczak

Tim is a proud alumnus of the University at Buffalo and a published historian. He previously wrote for TheHockeyWriters.com where he covered the Minnesota Wild and Buffalo Sabres of the NHL. He has been writing for Legends On Deck since April 2015 covering the Baltimore Orioles.