The star of Adam Jones has shimmered more often than not in his three-plus seasons in Baltimore, so it’s not like the baseball world is unaware of the kid's immense skill set. But his flashy over-the-shoulder catch during Wednesday’s 2-1 win over the Mariners has since brought national attention to Orioles center fielder.
His sick catch in the fourth inning was the “SportsCenter” play of the night and the top “Web Gem” on “Baseball Tonight,” too. It is being compared to one of Willie Mays’ signature grabs. And it is getting pub on popular sports blogs such as “Hot Clicks” on SI.com and “Pro Hardball Talk” on NBCSports.com.
Jones, who carries himself with plenty of swagger, knew he would get in the “Web Gem” spotlight. "It should be,” he said Wednesday. “There's always some good plays, but that's going to be hard for them to top."
The 25-year-old also won the game for the Orioles with a solo shot in the eighth inning. Ho hum. All everyone wanted to talk about after the game was Jones robbing Miguel Oliva of an extra-base hit.
This season, Jones has arguably been the team’s best all-around player, often showing glimpses of the five-tool potential that made Orioles scouts drool before the Erik Bedard trade. He leads Orioles regulars in homers (seven), runs batted in (30), batting average (.296) and runs (27), and is second in steals (five).
“Jonesy was a difference-maker,” manager Buck Showalter said. “[He] put on an all-around show today. He's having a special year."
We have all noticed what Jones has been up to in 2011. Now the rest of the baseball world can’t help but pay attention, too.