An American League All-Star and Gold Glove winner (both in 2009), Jones, 26, is in his seventh major league season, and his fifth with the Orioles. He entered 2012 a career .275/.319/.437 hitter with 75 home runs and 291 RBI in 624 games (551 with Baltimore). He is batting .309/.351/.597 in 47 games this season, with 14 home runs and 31 RBI. Entering today’s game, Jones ranked in the top 10 in the American League in total bases (2nd; 114), extra-base hits (T-2nd; 25), games played (T-2nd; 47), slugging (3rd; .597), runs (T-3rd; 34), hits (4th; 59), home runs (T-4th; 14), stolen bases (T-4th; 8), OPS (5th; .948), wOBA (6th; .403), at-bats (T-6th; 191), RBI (T-9th; 31) and average (10th; .309). His current 17-game hitting streak is a career-long and the longest in the American League this season.
Jones was named Most Valuable Oriole by local media who cover the team in 2011 after appearing in a career-high 151 games for Baltimore. He also set career-highs in doubles (26), home runs (25), RBI (83), stolen bases (12), extra-base hits (53) and slugging percentage (.466). He led all major league centerfielders with 16 outfield assists and ranked second overall in the category among all American Leaguers.
Additionally in 2011, Jones was the Orioles’ nominee for the MLB Roberto Clemente Award for his involvement in the Baltimore community. Dating back to his first days in Baltimore, Jones has focused on making a positive impact on underprivileged youth in Baltimore City. He has done so through his work with programs including area Boys and Girls Clubs, the Y of Central Maryland and local public Title I schools. Jones has taken a strong interest in working with the participants of Baltimore’s Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) Program and in addition to his participation at youth clinics, Jones is a frequent visitor to the RBI league’s games. He also took part in First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign kick-off clinic at Camden Yards in 2010. Jones also started a partnership with BARCS (Baltimore Animal and Rescue Care Shelter) by posing for the OriolesREACH Pet Calendar and participating in an advertising campaign to raise awareness of animal cruelty in the inner city. In addition, Jones contributes annually to the OriolesREACH Gameday Experience Program, which provides underprivileged children the opportunity to attend an Orioles game, including complimentary game tickets, concessions, Orioles hats and t-shirts, and transportation to and from the game.
Jones represented the Orioles in the All-Star Game in his second season with the club in 2009 at age 23, becoming the youngest Oriole to make the AL squad since MIKE MUSSINA (also 23) in 1992 and the youngest O’s position player to make the squad since CAL RIPKEN JR. (22) in 1983. His sacrifice fly brought home the game winning run for the American League, making Jones the third-youngest player with a game-winning RBI in the eighth inning or later of an All-Star Game, behind TED WILLIAMS (1941) and HANK BLALOCK (2003), each of whom did it at age 22. He also won his first career Gold Glove in centerfield that season, becoming the first Oriole to win a Gold Glove since Mike Mussina (1999) and the first O’s outfielder to do so since PAUL BLAIR (1975).
Born in San Diego, CA, Jones was selected in the first round (37th overall) of the 2003 First Year Player Draft by the Seattle Mariners out of Morse High School, where he pitched (3-3, 2.71 ERA in his senior year) and played shortstop (.406, four home runs and 27 RBI).