It’s officially time for hot stove season. The Cleveland Guardians are already making preliminary roster changes to their 40-man roster in front of the Rule 5 draught on December 7. After the Guardians dealt former top prospect, Nolan Jones, to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for infielder Juan Brito, another domino has already fallen.
Jones, selected with the 55th overall choice in the 2016 MLB Draft, was previously one of the league’s most sought-after talents. He was the top prospect for the Guardians in 2020, and he was praised for his outstanding minor league baserunning skills, which should only serve to highlight his impressive bat speed. Jones, who missed a lot of time owing to ailments to his thumb and ankle, has found that it simply hasn’t worked out.
After six years of development in the minor levels, the Guardians brought up Nolan Jones this past July, but he was unable to establish himself as a regular player. Jones had a slash line of.244/.309/.372 in 94 plate appearances (28 games), yet in his limited play, he only recorded 0.2 Fangraphs WAR.
— MLB Insider (@mlbinsider22) November 16, 2022
After being selected in the first round as a shortstop out of high school, Nolan Jones advanced to third base. The 24-year-old is currently a corner outfielder by profession. In the hopes that Coors Field can ignite the outfielder’s bat, which has been dormant in the majors, the Rockies could do much worse than take a risk on Jones.
Juan Brito, on the other hand, has demonstrated a strong ability to reach base in the lower minors. In 2022, Brito walked 78 times compared to 71 strikeouts for a respectable.877 OPS.
Given that the franchise has a history of producing excellent infielders and that the young second baseman is only 21 years old, the Guardians seem to be the ideal organization for his growth. (Jose Ramirez and Andrés Gimenez spring to mind.)