3. Adam Jones
The four-time Gold Glove award winner and four-time All-Star was one of the greatest trade steals of all time. Jones came over from the Seattle Mariners with four other players for starter Erik Bedard in 2008. Bedard won all of 15 games for Seattle and Jones has become one of the top players in the majors. While suffering from back issues late in the season, Jones still managed to put up numbers. 2015 marked his fifth straight year of at least 25 home runs and 80 runs batted in (27 and 82) while posting a .782 OPS (109 OPS+). All of these stats are in line with his career averages.
Though one can’t measure leadership by any metric, it is doubtful the Orioles would have had two playoff appearances in the last four seasons (after none in 16 years) if not for the steady center fielder. One stat surely haunting Jones at this stage in his career is his .151/.207/.208 batting line in 58 postseason plate appearances. At the age of 30, once you have secured that big contract, you have to start thinking about legacy. Winning championships is at the top of that list. With this poor postseason performance, Jones still has a lot to prove in that area.
Back injuries are among the toughest to play with due to the torque of a baseball swing. Jones also plays a physically demanding position (center field), so this could be his last appearance at the top of player rankings unless he can return to the bigger stats that earned him that big contract in the first place. It is possible as he gets into his 30s, the Orioles might try to use him in a less physical position to help boost his offensive effectiveness. Even without too much of a bounceback, Jones is still one of the top players in the game and deserves his position on this list.
Next: 4. Kevin Kiermaier