Jones Brings Consistency to the 'Caps

Jones has been a big boost for the Whitecaps

After the first month of this season, the West Michigan Whitecaps looked like they had the talent to potentially be a talented team, but were missing a few pieces to put it all together.

Perhaps one of the biggest gaps that needed to be filled, though, was a consistent hitter who also can field well.

The 'Caps received that and then some when they brought in second baseman Corey Jones, who, since being promoted to West Michigan from the Gulf Coast League, has been one of the team's most consistent hitters, as he is currently batting .338 with 20 RBI in 37 games.

Jones, who was a 2010 seventh round draft pick out of Cal State Fullerton, said that the biggest difference between college and pro baseball is the amount of games you play in a season.

"The biggest difference is being able to play every day," Jones said. "In college you play four games at the most during the week. If you play a bad game, you have to wait maybe four days before you go out again. Now, if you have a rough game, you can go out the next day and make up for it. So that's been the best thing for me personally, knowing that I'm going to have another opportunity tomorrow."

He went on to say that the talent is much more significant in the Midwest League than what he saw in the Big West last season.

"The talent in the Midwest League is much better than it was in college," Jones said. "The raw talent and God given tools that I'm seeing now is almost mind blowing to me. Also, there's definitely a lot more money than in college."

Jones came to the team at the perfect time. Since his arrival, the team has seen itself go from being in last place in the division, to being in sole possession of the final playoff spot in the division.

However, Jones said that there probably isn't a connection between his arrival and the 'Caps success. Instead, he thinks that they have simply started working better together.

"Everybody's having fun," he said. "Everybody jells together and gets along really well."

"Hitting is contagious," Jones continued. "Once a few guys start getting hits, they keep coming."

If Jones' sentiment is true, then he may have given the team the proverbial bug. Along with third baseman Wade Gaynor and outfielder Avisail Garcia, Jones has been one of the offensive leaders in the clubhouse since he came on board.

While his main focus is the outcome of this season, Jones cannot deny that he is paying attention to where the Tigers may place him next season, as well.

"The goal is always to get to the big leagues as soon as possible; that's the ideal situation," he said. "Realistically, if I continue to do well, and finish strong here, and hopefully have a good spring training, hopefully I'll start high A next season."

"Anything can happen," Jones continued. "It'd be awesome, and not unrealistic, to finish in double A. It's always a goal to set your standards high and try to achieve at the next level."

With that being said, Jones has been working on certain things—namely, being selective with his swings—since joining the West Michigan Whitecaps.

"I'm trying to improve my pitch selection," Jones said. "Sometimes, I tend to get a little impatient at the plate, and swing at pitches that I shouldn't. Each day I get a little bit better. Obviously the more pitches you see, the better you get."

As a result of Jones' development, he is seeing an extremely successful minor league campaign, which has, in some way, resulted in the team's recent success.

With a little over a week left to go in the regular season, and with four more games left against a Lansing team that is breathing down their neck, Jones said that the team needs to keep a "business as usual" mentality.

"We have to keep doing what we're doing right now," Jones said. "As good as things are going, there is no reason to change anything. It would be a shame if we changed anything."

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