Adam LaMarque Jones (born August 1, 1985) is an American professional baseball center fielder with the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball (MLB).
The Seattle Mariners selected Jones in the first round of the 2003 MLB draft. He came up in the Mariners' minor league system as a shortstop before transitioning to the outfield and being traded to the Orioles before the 2008 season. Jones is a five-time MLB All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a Silver Slugger Award winner.
Jones was born in San Diego, California on August 1, 1985, the son of Andrea, who raised Jones and his older brother alone until he was five. While growing up in Southeast San Diego, Jones excelled at both football and basketball and did not pick up a baseball bat until he was twelve. In 1997 his stepfather, Kenneth, took him to a Padres game after which he started to gain an interest in the sport. He picked up the sport very quickly and went on to star on his high school team. Jones graduated from Morse High School in 2003 after leading his high school team as both a pitcher and a shortstop. During his senior season he batted .406, hit four home runs and batted in 27 runs. On the mound, Jones posted a record of three wins and three losses, while posting a 2.71 ERA.
He was originally selected by the Seattle Mariners with the 37th pick in the first round of the 2003 MLB draft as a shortstop/right-handed pitcher. Most experts believed Seattle wanted to use him as a pitcher, but Jones said he would prefer to play every day and was made the shortstop of the Mariners' rookie league affiliate. A few years later when the Mariners acquired Yuniesky Betancourt, they asked Jones if he would move to the outfield and he agreed.
Jones' career in the majors began when he was called up to the Mariners from the Tacoma Rainiers on July 14, 2006. He replaced corner outfielder Shin-Soo Choo whose attempt to fill in for injured starting center fielder Jeremy Reed was less than successful. Jones made his major-league debut that night, going 0 for 3 with a fourth-inning walk in a 5–3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. After going hitless in his first twelve at bats, he got his first major league hit when he singled off Sidney Ponson in the seventh of an 11-inning 5–4 defeat to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium four nights later on July 18. Jones hit his first home run in the majors off Adam Eaton in the third inning of an 8–2 loss to the Texas Rangers at Ameriquest Field in Arlington on August 10, 2006.
On August 3, 2007, Jones returned to the majors for the first time on the season, starting in right field against the Red Sox. He went 2 for 4 and scored the go-ahead run in the 7–4 victory.
On February 8, 2008, Jones was traded to the Baltimore Orioles along with left-handed reliever George Sherrill and minor league pitchers Kam Mickolio, Chris Tillman, and Tony Butler for the left-handed starting pitcher Érik Bédard.
On July 28, 2008, Jones became the second player ever to hit a triple and a grand slam in the same game as a visitor to Yankee Stadium (the first was Pat Seerey in 1945). On September 21, 2008, Jones hit the final triple at Yankee Stadium in the second inning off Andy Pettitte and later scored the first run of the game.
Jones finished his first season with the Orioles batting .270 to go along with 9 home runs, 57 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He ranked 11th in the major leagues with 7 triples.
After a strong start to the season, Jones was selected to represent Baltimore in the 2009 All Star Game on July 5. In the game, he drove in Curtis Granderson on a sacrifice fly for the winning run in the American League's 4–3 victory.
The second half wasn't as kind to Jones though and in August, he sprained his left ankle and missed the end of the 2009 season. He finished the season with a .277 batting average, 19 homers, 70 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He tied for 5th among major league center fielders with 9 outfield assists.
In November, he was awarded a Gold Glove for his defensive play.
Jones finished his third season in Baltimore with a .284 batting average, 19 homers, 69 RBI and 7 stolen bases. He led all center fielders and was second in the majors in outfield assists with 12.
As of August, Jones was having the best statistical season of his career. On August 6, in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, he hit his then career high 20th home run of the season.
In 2011, Jones led the major leagues in sacrifice flies, with 12, and led all AL outfielders in errors, with 8.
Jones started the 2012 season hitting .310 with 14 home runs and 31 runs batted in through the Orioles' first 46 games. His stellar play led to the Orioles signing him to a contract extension for six years that is worth $85.5 million. Escalators could raise that total to $91.5 million over the same period. The contract surpassed the previous contracts of Miguel Tejada and Nick Markakis as the largest in Orioles' history and makes Jones the second highest paid center fielder in Major League Baseball, behind the Dodgers' Matt Kemp. Jones hit the second walk-off home run of his career on June 9, a two-run home run in the bottom of the 12th inning that resulted in a 6-4 victory for the Orioles over the Philadelphia Phillies.
On July 1, Jones was selected to be one of the Orioles representatives in the 2012 All Star Game.
Jones hit the 100th home run of his career on August 28 against the Chicago White Sox. Two days later, he established a new career high by hitting his 26th home run of the season, also against the White Sox. He finished the regular season with 32 home runs.
On September 30, 2012, Jones was named the Most Valuable Oriole for the second consecutive season. The Orioles made the playoffs as a Wildcard against Texas Rangers. Jones hit a sac fly to score a run in the Orioles 5-1 win.
Prior to the start of the 2013 season, Jones was selected by the United States national baseball team to participate in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He appeared in his second All-Star game, his first as a starter.
On August 11, 2013, Adam Jones reached a career-high 85 RBIs.
On September 5, 2013, Jones reached 100 RBIs for the first time, when he connected for a home run off of José Quintana.
Jones finished a strong 2013 season batting .285 with 33 home runs and 108 RBIs, both of which were new career highs. He did, however, draw only 25 walks and finished with a .318 on-base percentage, his lowest since 2008.
After the Baltimore Orioles failed to make the 2013 playoffs, Jones decided to join MLB Network as an extra analyst for the duration of the postseason.
On April 13, Jones recorded his 1,000 career hit off Mark Buehrle in a game versus the Toronto Blue Jays. In a game against the Houston Astros at Camden Yards on May 11, 2014, he singled with the bases loaded and drove in his 500th and 501st RBIs. Jones participated in the 2014 MLB All-Star Game. After the season ended, he travelled to Japan to join a team of MLB All-Stars playing against All-Stars of Nippon Professional Baseball in the 2014 Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series.
In 2015, Jones was elected to his fifth All-Star Game, his fourth in a row. He was originally voted in as a reserve, however, an injury to Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon allowed Jones to replace Gordon as a starting outfielder. During the Orioles final game before the All-Star break, Jones hit two homeruns in a game against the Washington Nationals, raising his career total with the Orioles to 180. His second homerun moved him into eighth on the Orioles all-time homeruns list, and it was his seventh career multi-homerun game. On July 30, Jones hit the 182nd homerun of his Orioles career, which tied him for seventh on the teams all-time list with Ken Singleton. The very next night, Jones hit a three-run homerun, giving him sole possession of seventh place on the all-time Orioles homerun list. It was also his one hundredth career homerun at OPACY. On August 16, Jones went 3-for-4 and hit two homeruns in an 18-2 rout of the Oakland Athletics. It was Jones' eighth career multi-homerun game.
Jones played in 137 games in 2015, his lowest total since 2009. He hit a career-low .269, with 27 homeruns, and 82 RBIs. The Orioles finished the season with a record of 81-81.
Jones started the 2016 season, hitting from the two spot in the lineup. He went 1-for-5 with an RBI in the season opener, in a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins. On April 6, Jones injured himself during an at-bat late in the game. He sat out for the next four days, before returning on April 11 as a defensive replacement. He wouldn't start again until April 14. Jones hit .224 in April after collecting 15 hits in 67 at-bats. He only hit one home run while driving in seven runs.
After going 1-for-5 in a victory over the Athletics on May 8, Jones' average dipped to .200. He later tweeted "Gonna figure it allllll out. Part of the grind. #StayHungry" that day. Over the next week, Jones collected 13 hits, four home runs, nine RBIs, hit .520, and had two game-winning hits (2-run single & solo homerun). On May 13, Jones hit his 200th career home run in a game against the Detroit Tigers. On June 2, the Orioles hit a season-high seven home runs in a game against the Red Sox, two of which belonged to Jones. The second one (in the eighth inning) was his 200th career home run in an Orioles uniform. In addition, his first homer came from the leadoff spot, giving him a home run in each spot in the lineup. On July 8, Jones passed Brady Anderson for sole possession of 6th place on the Orioles all-time home run list with 210.
Jones finished 2016 slashing .265/.310/.436 with an OPS of .746. He hit 29 home runs while driving in 83 runs. Jones would go 1-for-5 with a run scored in the Orioles Wild Card Game loss.
During the second game of the season, Jones hit his 223rd career home run as an Oriole, tying him for fifth all-time in franchise history with Rafael Palmeiro. Jones would pass Palmeiro five games later with his second home run of the season and 224th in an Orioles uniform.
World Baseball Classic
Adam Jones played for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. In the opening round of group play, Jones helped the USA advance to the second round by recording a walk-off hit vs. Colombia. In the second round, in a game against the Domincan Republic, Jones made a home-run-saving catch that helped propel Team USA into the semifinals. The team went on to win the 2017 Classic against Puerto Rico. Jones was later quoted as saying, "To do it with those guys, it was probably the best experience of my life so far, especially with sports," and was extremely glad to have had the experience.
On May 29, 2010, Jones was mistakenly detained at the Canadian border while he was trying to get to Toronto. He believed it was a case of mistaken identity; however, he would not disclose whether he was mistaken for Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, who has had numerous brushes with the law.
On August 11, 2013, at a game at AT&T Park in San Francisco, a fan threw a banana towards him in the outfield, Jones reported via Twitter. It was later revealed that the fan threw the banana in disgust at the performance of the Giants in a 10-2 loss to the Orioles and was not intended as an insult toward Adam Jones.
Jones married Audie Fugett, the only daughter of Jean Fugett, in late-December 2014. They had their first son, August, in March 2014.
Being a San Diego native, Jones is a season ticket holder for the San Diego Gulls and has even worked as an off ice referee for the team. His passion for winning and leadership qualities on the field and in the clubhouse are staples of his character. Pre 2016, Jones typically pied teammates during post-game interviews after they drive in the winning run or make the most contributions to the team's victory at home. Jones has four tattoos. One of his mother and another of his grandmother, who he calls "the two most important women in my life", on his left shoulder. Whenever crossing the plate after hitting a home run, he taps his left shoulder as a tribute.