Dynasty Baseball Trade Targets: Jo Adell and Jared Jones

by Josh Stevens
2024 Dynasty Baseball Trade Targets: MJ Melendez and Cade Smith

How late is too late to break out? Our two Dynasty Baseball Trade Targets, Jo Adell and Jared Jones provide opposite answers to the question.

How long of a leash should teams give their top prospects? It’s undeniable that top prospects have more room to falter than players up out of necessity, but when is it time to cut your losses with a player who you thought was going to be the face of the franchise?

Adell and Jones provide opposite sides of the coin here. While Jared Jones has gotten going out of the gate, Adell is trying to put a slow start to his career in the rearview mirror.

While these players have taken different paths, they have both been productive enough to be our next 2024 Dynasty Baseball Trade Targets

Dynasty Baseball Trade Targets: Jo Adell and Jared Jones

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Jo Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels

We’ve been waiting for Jo Adell to break out for a while now. In fact, I even wrote about a possible breakout for Adell last year.

“Adell's explosive raw tools are rarely matched. He's a workout legend, capable of running a 6.4 60-yard dash, smacking a 450-foot home run with a wood bat, or making a 70-grade throw from the outfield. He's got all the body cliches: the high waist, the broad shoulders and the defined muscles stretching his sleeves. When the players walk off the bus, Adell's the guy scouts want."

This quote from Baseball America, taken from my article last year is why both the Angels and Fantasy managers haven’t given up on Adell despite his rocky start to his career.

Just how long has Adell been a hyped-up prospect? He was the second-ranked prospect in the Angels 2018 farm system, right behind Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani played out a full hall-of-fame caliber career with the Angels while Adell was still figuring it out.

Before this year, Adell could be classified as a AAAA player: too good for the minors but not good enough for the majors.

In 411 minor league games, Adell averaged .286 with 37 homers per 162 games. However, before 2024, Adell averaged .213 with 16 homers per 162 in the majors.

Tapping Into Potential

However, a flip has been switched this year. In 23 games, Adell is hitting .316 with four homers at the MLB level.

Even more important is the cutback on the strikeouts, traditionally Adell’s biggest problem. After 495 strikeouts in 411 games in the minors, Adell had struck out 219 times in 178 games in the MLB. However, Adell has only struck out 14 times in 23 games in 2024.

What had led Adell to be more successful?

Just take a look at Adell’s baseball savant page, which is an absolute sea of deep red. Adell’s xwOBA, xBA, and xSLG are all at the 99th percentile in the MLB. Adell is the only player to be at the 99th percentile in all three of these expected metrics.

Another promising note for fantasy managers is that Adell’s numbers are all lower than his expected numbers by a decent margin. This means that Adell’s success hasn’t been a stroke of luck, he’s actually been a little unlucky.

Adell is also barreling the ball up a lot more than in years past, posting a barrel rate in the 93rd percentile and a hard hit rate in the 94th percentile. This has led Adell to be near the top of the leaderboard in EV50.

Adell can take his game to the next level by lowering his chase rate (20th percentile). This will allow him to capitalize on his 93rd percentile sprint speed, and cash in on his 30 stolen base a year potential.

Jared Jones, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

On the other side of the development coin is Jared Jones. Jones was well regarded as the 56th-ranked overall prospect and No. 3 in the Pirates system.

His hot start hasn’t been a surprise, but he didn’t receive anywhere near the amount of hype that surrounded Jo Adell.

However, unlike Adell, Jones has had a blazing start to his MLB career. In 34 innings, Jones has an era just above three with 42 strikeouts.

Even more impressive? These 42 strikeouts have come against just five walks. This is good for an 8.40 K:BB ratio that paces all of Major League Baseball.

Is this dominant start by Jones a surprise? The minor league stats would think so. Jones allowed far more runs throughout most of his minor league stops, excluding a very strong AA stint in 2023 with a 2.25 ERA.

However, these numbers don’t account for how promising Jones was. Even as less emphasis is being placed on control, Jones is throwing more strikes than almost anyone else in baseball.

However; this wasn’t always the case. In 2022-2023, Jones struck out around three batters per walk.

Who Can Jones's Fast Start Compare to?

A 3:1 K:BB ratio is decent, but how in the world did it get to an 8.4? MLB.com has an interesting in-depth article on this.

In this article, MLB.com compares Jones to Braves Ace Spencer Strider with the following criteria:

  • “Jones throws an upper-90s rising four-seamer, driving down the mound to generate much greater release extension than normal for a 6-foot-1 pitcher, which makes his fastball extra explosive.
  • Jones tunnels that four-seamer with an upper-80s gyro slider that has a tight vertical break, resulting in huge swing-and-miss numbers when hitters can't differentiate it from his heater.
  • Jones' two-pitch combination is so nasty that he only needs to mix in his changeup and curveball to keep hitters honest, even as a starter.”

Pretty exciting for such a young prospect.

A Rare Blend of Stuff and Control

But this just showcases the electric stuff of Jared Jones. Where does the control come into play?

The Pirates, among other teams, have switched back to a philosophy of throwing your best stuff inside of the zone, rather than forcing chases.

Since Jones has some of the most electric stuff in the game, he is the poster child for success when you throw your best stuff inside of the zone.

According to mlb.com, Jones ranks second on the list for strike percentage to start the year.

  1. Zach Eflin: 60.1%
  2. Jared Jones: 57.4%
  3. Chris Sale: 56.8%
  4. Yu Darvish: 56.4%
  5. JP Sears: 56.3%

Notice anything else about the other four names?

They’re all seasoned veterans. These other four pitchers have had around a decade in the MLB to refine their arsenal, and really understand how to pitch.

Also, none of them can touch triple digits in 2024 like Jones can.

While Jones classifies himself as a “thrower”, as he only has two pitches, the evidence stands that he is a complete pitcher so far into his young career.

Jones checks off all of the fantasy boxes. The fact that he keeps the ball in the zone means he goes deep into games, checking off boxes for quality starts, or even better, quality appearances.

The high strikeout numbers just rack up the points, while the low walk numbers make sure that you don’t lose any points either. Jones really is the complete package.

That’s all for our 2024 Dynasty Trade Targets: Jo Adell and Jared Jones! Will these young players continue to build upon a hot start? Let us know below!

Be sure to check out the other great Fantasy Baseball advice from the F6P Team!

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