ShareThis Page
Pirates

Triple shows off Garrett Jones' speed

| Monday, March 29, 2010

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Looking at Garrett Jones, it might be hard to picture him as a short and speedy kid.

"I was fast when I was little," Jones said. "Then I got tall and skinny and starting slowing down."

Jones hit a growth spurt after his freshman year in high school, shooting up four inches to 6-feet tall by the start of his sophomore year. These days, the Pirates right fielder stands 6-4.

"When I got tall, I lost some of my coordination," Jones said. "Eventually, it started to come back."

Jones has a 230-pound slugger's physique, which helps explain the 21 home runs he mashed in 82 games last season. But the big man's got some wheels, too -- he stole 10 bases in 12 tries.

"I take pride in being able to run the bases well," Jones said. "I like stealing bases and turning doubles into triples. Maybe sometimes, other players look at a big guy, and they automatically think 'slow.' "

Sunday, in the Pirates' 8-2 loss against the Tampa Bay Rays, Jones whipped a triple into the right-field corner. Jones slid in safely an instant ahead of third baseman Hank Blalock's tag.

Last season, Jones had one triple among his 45 extra-base hits.

Jones realizes his primary role in the lineup -- he'll usually bat third ahead of Ryan Doumit -- will be to blast the ball off or over the outfield wall and drive in runs. But the Pirates' plan to be aggressive on the basepaths does not exclude Jones.

Does that mean the 20-20 mark for homers and steals could be within Jones' grasp?

"I think it's possible," Jones said. "If I can sneak in 10 to 15 stolen bases, that would put me in scoring position more often."

Jones paused and smiled.

"It'd be nice to go 20-50, too."

QUOTE

"This doesn't mean I'm going to pitch like this in the regular season. It just means that I need to start pitching better." -- Ross Ohlendorf

DIGITS

54 -- Stolen bases by Garrett Jones over nine seasons in the minors

158 -- Homers by Jones in the minors

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me