Detroit — Shortstop prospect JaCoby Jones has played some third base in the Arizona Fall League, but that doesn’t mean the Tigers are ready to move him.
“He’s definitely going to start out at shortstop next season, either at Double A (Erie) or Triple A (Toledo),” Tigers assistant general manager David Chadd said.
Jones is the 10th-ranked prospect in the Tigers’ system. He’s hitting .364 with two home runs and a .962 OPS in eight games in Arizona. He played third base and center field, as well as shortstop, during his collegiate career at LSU.
But the reason he’s played third in Arizona is so he can be in the lineup and hit every day.
“You can’t read into anything about what we may be doing with JaCoby in the future,” Chadd said. “It’s just mainly to give him an opportunity to play every day.”
Each team in the league is comprised of prospects from five major league teams. Each team designates primary players, those the organization wants to play regularly at their normal position during the fall.
The Tigers hadn’t yet acquired Jones from the Pirates when they designated outfielder Michael Gerber as their primary player.
“Once we acquired Jones and decided we wanted to send him to the Arizona Fall League, we had to fit him in,” Chadd said. “The team (Scottsdale) already had two primary shortstops. We told them JaCoby could play third or center field. Ideally, we’d like him to play some shortstop when he can.”
He has played some shortstop, though the team’s primary shortstop is Giants prospect Christian Arroyo.
“JaCoby has that power-speed combination you’d like to see at any position,” Chadd said. “Ideally he will play in the middle of the diamond, but I think that bat is going to carry him whether it be as shortstop, the outfield or wherever.”