Diamondbacks News

Jon Jay A Perfect Addition To Arizona Diamondbacks

By Randy Holt
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 3: Jon Jay #25 of the Kansas City Royals rounds third and heads home after hitting a home run in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium on June 3, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 3: Jon Jay #25 of the Kansas City Royals rounds third and heads home after hitting a home run in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium on June 3, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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In search of some depth to their roster, given the injuries they’ve experienced this year, the Arizona Diamondbacks made a swap with the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night to do just that.

The Snakes traded a pair of pitching prospects, Gabe Speier and Elvis Luciano, in order to acquire Jon Jay from the Royals. With A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza, Jr. already out, the D-Backs needed to bolster their outfield depth. This trade does just that, while adding a bit of offense to a unit that struggled so much last month.

The past few games have seen the Diamondbacks ride out Jarrod Dyson in center and Chris Owings in right field. Daniel Descalso has also seen some outfield time. Jon Jay is a role player who can play all three outfield spots and should see plenty of playing time with his new squad. When Jay signed with the Royals late in the offseason, this was always going to be a likely scenario for him, given their current rebuilding-type status.

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Jay spent a year with the Chicago Cubs in 2017 before signing in Kansas City. He was a key role player on the North Side, hitting .296 and reaching base at a .374 rate. He posted a wRC+ of 101, including a 107 mark against right-handed pitching. His start in Kansas City brought about similar results.

Across 266 plate appearances with the Royals, Jay’s slash included a .307 average and .363 OBP. His baserunning hasn’t graded out as positively as it did in his previous years in Chicago and San Diego, but he does have three steals on the year. He stole six with the Cubs last season.

Jay doesn’t bring a ton of power to the mix, with ISO figures of .098, .079, and .067 over the last three seasons. He also isn’t a particularly patient hitter, as his career walk rate is an even 7.0%. He’s always been a high contact guy, though, with an 84.7% contact rate this season. He typically grades out as an average, if unspectacular, fielder as well.

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Overall, Jay doesn’t have to be a stellar addition to the Diamondbacks. He’ll likely log a lot of innings in the near term, until Souza and Pollock are healthy. But, by all accounts, he’s a great teammate and a very good role player. His addition should bring about some positive news after the Arizona Diamondbacks dropped their rubber match against the Giants on Wednesday.

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