Cleveland Guardians: A deeper look at the Nolan Jones trade

CLE, Nolan Jones
CLE, Nolan Jones / Jason Miller/GettyImages

The Cleveland Guardians have been regarded as one of the top farm system organizations in Major League Baseball.

Whether it's the outstanding pitching prospect Daniel Espino, the slugging tendencies of outfielder George Valera or the sniping speed of catcher Bo Naylor's throws, the Guardians' front office has a handful of talent to manage.

At times, an influx of talent can sweep other players under the rug. One of those notable players who has been swept under the rug is outfield prospect Nolan Jones.

He started the 2022 season with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, slashing .276/.368/.463 to go alongside 11 doubles, one triple and nine home runs. He also recorded 59 hits, 43 RBIs and 31 walks through roughly 200 at-bats.

With consistency being a huge factor in his game, the Guardians' front office gave him a shot in the majors. Through 28 games, he knocked 21 hits, 13 RBIs, five doubles and two home runs, showcasing that the raw talent he had could translate well in the majors.

Although he was playing well and looked to potentially be a part of the future at the major-league level, he was sent back down to Triple-A on August 21.

When it happened, it made sense in the total picture of the organization because the Guardians were in need of a first baseman and outfielder Oscar Gonzalez returned after being injured. Those outside of the organization viewed this move as a time for Jones to adapt to the first base position so he could be slotted there once returning to the majors.

However, that was not the case.

When returning to the minors he strictly played in the outfield and as a designated hitter. This confused many and stunted the growth of the organization while they were in need of a first baseman.

With Jones finishing the season with the Clippers, it raised the question of whether he would be traded.

The Guardians finally traded Jones to the Rockies

With the amount of young talent in the Guardians' farm system, the ability to have patience with Jones was thin.

The Guardians in return got Juan Brito, a top infield prospect for the Colorardo Rockies. Brito is a switch-hitting middle infielder with an excellent minor-league track record at the second base position.

Jones is one player who has a lot of potential in the majors and has shown that with a fresh start in 2023, his ceiling is immense.

Look to see Jones take over with the Rockies and get major-league experience, now with an organization that will be able to utilize him to his highest potential.