Latest News

Along comes Jones: Shortstop adds much-needed offense to Myrtle Beach Pelicans lineup

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans' leading hitter among players who have at least 150 at-bats to qualify for a league ranking is Cole Miles, who is batting .249. That ranks 35th in the eight-team Carolina League.

Needless to say, the Pelicans have been in need of some offensive punch.

Enter shortstop Mycal Jones.

Jones joined the team on June 9 and in six games he is batting .467 with 14 hits in 30 at-bats, and has three doubles, a home run, six runs scored, two runs batted in and two stolen bases.

He was 2-for-5 in Wednesday's 8-0 win over Potomac at BB&T Coastal Field, and his homer was a walk-off blast to left field in the 12th inning of a 7-6 win over Potomac in the series opener on Tuesday.

"He's energized this team with his bat, with his speed, with his play," Pelicans manager Rocket Wheeler said. "I mean, he's exciting to watch. He's energized us because he's come with his bat on fire. Of course he hit the walk-off home run [Tuesday] night. He's made some solid contact and he's exciting to watch. ... He is heads up, like Jason Heyward running the bases, always looking to take the extra base."

Batting in the No. 2 spot in the order, Jones showed his versatility at the plate with a bunt single to the first base side of the infield in his first plate appearance Wednesday, diving headlong into first base to avoid a tag.

"I look to help my team in as many ways possible," Jones said. "Whether it's making a big play late in a game or stealing a bag and getting in scoring position for Travis [Jones] or Mike Jones to knock me in. Whatever it takes to win a game."

Jones has multiple hits in five of his six Pelicans games. He went 10-for-19 in a four-game series at Kinston and went 2-for-6 Tuesday.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder turned 23 on May 30. He was the Atlanta Braves' fourth-round pick in 2009 out of Miami Dade Community College after initially attending North Florida in his hometown of Jacksonville.

He batted .258 with four homers and 19 stolen bases in rookie ball at Danville, Va., last year, and in 53 games at low-A Rome this year he batted.261 while leading the team with six home runs and 34 RBIs.

His batting average hovered around the .200 mark in the early part of this season, but he caught the attention of Braves scouting personnel by raising his average above .260 with displays of power and speed.

"They wanted to move him up to this level because he had done what he needed to do there," Wheeler said. "He's one of the older guys, he's 23 and came out of college, so it's time to move him on and see what he can do."

After the slow start this year, Jones widened his stance and his hands became more active in an attempt to spark his hitting.

"I got off to a slow start and kind of panicked and started changing things and switching things up," he said. "Honestly it was just one of those baseball things where slumps happen. ... I finally got to the point where I said, 'Just go back to what I've been doing and what got me here.' That's what I did, and once I started doing that my bat really came around."

Jones had a nine-game hitting streak before going 0-for-7 in his final two games at Rome, but he felt he was still seeing the ball well and putting good swings on pitches upon his promotion to Myrtle Beach. "I got here and just wanted to focus on doing the same thing I was doing in Rome, not changing too much," Jones said. "I pretty much tried to come in and play well, earn the respect of my teammates."

Before he gave the Pelicans their first extra-innings win in eight attempts this season Tuesday, Jones committed two errors that led to four unearned runs. They are his only two errors with the Pelicans, though he made 22 in Rome, which led the team by 11.

"He's a very good shortstop," Wheeler said, "but there are times we work on his throwing. It's just that he stops his feet from moving and slows his arm down, and that can be corrected and that's what we're working on."

With their victory Wednesday, the Pelicans have won seven straight games at BB&T Field. Three of the victories have been via a walk-off hit, but one wasn't needed Wednesday.

The Pelicans took a 4-0 lead in the opening inning. They loaded the bases on a single up the middle by leadoff hitter L.V. Ware, bunt single by Mycal Jones, walk by Travis Jones, two-run single with one out by Dan Nelson, wild pitch that plated a run, and an RBI bloop double by Samuel Sime.

That was plenty of offense with Julio Teheran on the mound. One of the top pitching prospects in Minor League Baseball held the Nationals scoreless over seven innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out 12.

Potomac.AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Curran CF

4

0

0

0

0

2

.286

Lombardozzi 2B

3

0

0

0

1

1

.278

Burgess RF

4

0

0

0

0

2

.261

Norris, D C

4

0

1

0

0

2

.242

Rhinehart LF

4

0

0

0

0

1

.183

Moore, T 1B

4

0

0

0

0

2

.195

Lyons DH

1

0

0

0

2

1

.200

Ortiz, W 3B

3

0

0

0

0

2

.213

Lozada SS

3

0

2

0

0

1

.240

Totals30

0

3

0

3

14

Myrtle BeachAB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Ware CF

5

2

3

1

0

1

.262

Jones, My SS

5

1

2

0

0

1

.467

Jones, T 2B

3

3

1

1

2

0

.284

Jones, Mi 1B

5

0

1

0

0

2

.253

Nelson 3B

4

1

2

2

0

1

.255

Sime DH

4

0

1

1

0

2

.286

Kennelly, M C

3

0

1

0

1

0

.221

Sumoza RF

4

1

3

1

0

0

.220

Culver LF

4

0

0

0

0

1

.218

Totals37

9

14

6

3

8

Potomac

000

000

000

--

0

3

1

M. Beach

400

012

10X

--

8

14

0

E--Lozada (15, throw). LOB--Potomac 6, Myrtle Beach 8 . HR--ones, T (4, 5th inning off Bronson, 0 on, 0 out). SB-Sime (3, 3rd base off Bronson/Norris, D).

Potomac

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Bronson (L, 2-5)

4.2

9

5

5

1

2

4.04

Phillabaum

2

3

3

2

2

4

7.84

VanAllen

1.1

2

0

0

0

2

5.55

Myrtle Beach

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Teheran (W, 3-1)

7

2

0

0

2

12

1.38

Proctor

1.2

1

0

0

1

1

8.44

Harris, T

0.1

0

0

0

0

1

5.40

WP--Bronson. Balk --Teheran. Umpires--Home, Tyler Wilson; First, Joey Amaral. T--3:00. A--2,827.

  Comments