Jones shows off power in Lugnuts' rally

Blue Jays first-base prospect slugs two three-run homers in win

Bradley Jones hit 16 homers and drove in 55 runs in 61 games with Rookie-level Bluefield in his debut last season. (Carl Kline/

By Michael Avallone / | April 18, 2017 12:34 AM ET

Bradley Jones has appeared in all of 72 games as a professional.

The fact that his two-homer, six-RBI performance for Class A Lansing on Monday night didn't represent his career bests speaks volumes about the success he's already enjoyed.

Video: Jones clubs second homer of the game

The Toronto infield prospect capped a wild comeback with a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning -- his second such shot of the game -- to lead Lansing to a 13-9 win over Dayton. Jones also singled during his third multi-hit effort in four games, and he's gone deep in consecutive games.

"It was a great win, first of all," he said. "We've been down a few times this year and ended up rallying for some key wins. We believe in each other and in ourselves. All Spring Training we worked on our approaches and guys are starting to buy into it and it's paying off."

Box score

The 21-year-old entered Monday hitting .371 with two home runs and seven RBIs, but flied out to center field in the first inning and grounded out to third base in the third. He beat out a single to third in the fifth, and in the seventh, with top Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and No. 9 Bo Bichette on base, Jones blasted the first pitch he saw from Lucas Benenati over the left-field fence to tie the game, 8-8. 

After Bichette drew a one-out walk and Guerrero's single in the eighth scored Blue Jays No. 15 prospect Joshua Palacios to give the Lugnuts the lead, Jones homered to center off Ryan Hendrix to make it 12-8.

The South Carolina native's 13 RBIs tie him for the league lead with Kane County's Marcus Wilson, the D-backs' No. 21 prospect. Jones is also tied with Wilson for second in the Midwest League with four homers, one behind Great Lakes' Carlos Rincon, the Dodgers' 24th-ranked prospect.

"It was a tough start tonight," the College of Charleston product said. "The first few at-bats didn't go my way. But I made the adjustments and tried to see the ball a little longer. Thankfully, it came during some key points in the game.

"For me, those [RBI] chances don't change my approach. Whether you're leading off an inning or whatever, you look for pitches up in the zone that you can drive and put a good swing on it."

Jones has done that plenty of times in his brief career. An 18th-round pick in last year's Draft, Jones has 20 long balls and 68 RBIs in 72 Minor League games. He already has three multi-homer games to his credit, including a three-homer game and a seven-RBI outing last year with Rookie-level Bluefield.

"As a power hitter, you need to be careful," Jones said. "Power hitters tend to get into trouble when they start overswinging. You get too big and try to do too much and it has a negative outcome. You need to just stick to your approach, whatever that may be, and get a good pitch to drive. Homers are great, but just find what works and stick with it and they'll come." 

MiLB include

Palacios had two hits, two RBIs, scored twice, drew a walk and was hit by a pitch in his season debut for Lansing. Edward Olivares had three hits, including his third home run, and scored three times.

Reds No. 8 prospect Tyler Stephenson reached base three times, going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and an RBI for the Dragons.

Tony Santillan, Cincinnati's 15th-ranked prospect, allowed four runs on seven hits and four walks with four strikeouts in five innings.

Michael Avallone is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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