The Baltimore Orioles 2012 team MVP was Adam Jones—and for good reason. Not only did he perform on the field, he is also a leader in the clubhouse.
Jones finished the 2012 season as the Oriole’s leader in batting average (.287), runs (103), and stolen bases (16). Jones set career highs in almost every category. His .287 average, 103 runs, 39 doubles, 32 home runs, and 16 steals were all career bests, all along with playing a stellar centerfield.
Jones was a huge part of Baltimore’s making the 2012 playoffs. After hitting .264 in July and August, Jones cranked it up a notch in September, hitting .303 when it was needed the most, as he helped propel Baltimore towards the top of the AL East standings.
Back in May, the Orioles made sure they would hold onto Jones for a while, as they came to terms on a six-year deal worth $85.5 million dollars. Jones has earned every penny. Jones earned his second All Star appearance as he finished seventh in the American League in hits with 186 (also a career high).
Defensively, Jones led the AL in putouts with 439, completely out-distancing himself from Curtis Granderson, who was second with 346. Jones also had seven assists, which was good for third amongst centerfielders.
Jones was such a pleasure to watch not only because of his pure talent, but his love for the game and his infectious enthusiasm.
One instance that comes to mind was the O’s game against the New York Yankees on September 7. With the O’s and Yankees going head to head for first place in the AL East, the Orioles found themselves heading into the eighth inning at Camden Yards with a 6-1 lead. The Yankees found a way to fight back by scoring five runs to tie the game at six. With momentum seeming to change hands to the Yankees, Adam Jones did what he does best.
In the bottom half of the eighth with the game looking to shift over to the Yankees, Jones led off the inning with a mammoth home run to put Baltimore up for good. The O’s would tack on three more runs, but it was Jones that got it started.
What really stood out was what Jones said after the game. He has had big hits before, but after the game he said, “That’s the biggest hit I’ve ever had in my life. Everything else up to this point has been leading up to this.”
After hearing that, all Baltimore fans know how invested Jones is into helping this Oriole team win.
Thankfully the O’s have him locked down through the 2018 season, which can only mean good things, and Oriole fans are certainly looking forward to the 2013 season, thanks to Jones.
by Andy Mindzak