Jones working on swing during the offseason
Garrett Jones made his Pirates debut in June of 2009, creating a buzz for the great rookie season he had. After spending over 10 years in the minors, Jones hit .293 with 21 home runs and 44 RBI in 82 games with the Bucs.
Jones has been the Pirates starting first baseman, and on occasion right fielder, since he was called up from the minor leagues. But after the signings of outfielder Matt Diaz and first baseman Lyle Overbay this offseason, Jones role in 2011 will be as a part-time player.
His stats were nothing like those of his rookie campaign. Jones finished the 2010 season with a .247 average, 21 home runs with 86 RBI –A .262 average against right-handers and just .220 against lefties. During the 2009 season, Jones hit .333 against right-handed pitching and .208 against left-handers.
General Manager Neal Huntington wanted to sign a strong bat over the offseason that could hit well against lefties to compliment Jones.
Since the offseason, Garrett has been spending his time trying to fix his swing and connect like he did in ’09.
“I’m going to make my swing sound and short so that I can get back in the swing of things when I do get into a funk,” Jones said. “When I did get in a funk swinging the bat, I wasn’t able to get out of it quick. You start thinking about your swing and thinking about taking a good swing, and you lose that aggression to go up there and just see the ball and attack it. That definitely hindered me a lot, too.”
“I need to control those downtimes and just get back to where I was when I was having success,” Jones said. “I just need to make sure I don’t think too much. I need to simplify things and that will keep me more successful throughout the year.
“I know my age is a little older, but it was also my first full season in the big leagues. I’m still young there. I learned a lot this year. I’m going to take it in stride and work hard and just make myself the most prepared that I can be.”