Orioles’ Jahmai Jones Undergoes Tommy John Surgery

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The Orioles announced this afternoon that second baseman Jahmai Jones underwent Tommy John surgery (via Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com). While the team didn’t provide a timetable for his recovery, it seems likely he’ll miss the remainder of this season and hope to be ready for next Spring Training.

It’ll go down as a lost season for Jones, who didn’t play in the majors. He tallied 112 plate appearances with Triple-A Norfolk, hitting .212/.339/.343 with two home runs and stolen bases apiece. Jones walked at a strong 11.9% clip while only striking out in 19.5% of his plate appearances, but he didn’t make much impact on contact. The right-handed hitter posted just a .131 ISO (slugging minus batting average) with a .257 average on balls in play.

Jones was more effective during a longer run with Norfolk last season. He came to the plate just under 300 times and hit .243/.337/.431 with 11 homers, earning a late-season big league call. The 24-year-old didn’t play well in his brief MLB action, but he seemed to have a good chance to get back to the majors with a solid showing this year. Unfortunately, the elbow procedure will prevent that from happening.

A former second-round pick, Jones broke into the professional ranks as one of the better prospects in the Angels’ farm system. Regarded as a possible bat-first second baseman and top-of-the-lineup presence, he appeared among Baseball America’s top 100 overall prospects entering the 2018 season. Jones started to struggle between High-A and Double-A that year, though, and his stock dipped. Los Angeles traded him to the Orioles over the 2020-21 offseason for starter Alex Cobb.

Jones will continue to occupy a spot on Baltimore’s 40-man roster so long as he’s on the minor league injured list. The O’s could clear a roster spot by recalling him and placing him on the 60-day IL, although doing so would require paying him at the prorated portion of the $700K MLB minimum salary. Baltimore could also release him entirely or merely keep him on the 40-man all season. This is Jones’ final minor league option year, so he’ll have to break camp with the team next season or be designated for assignment if he holds his place on the roster until then.

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