Philadelphia Phillies: 50 greatest players of all-time
The Phillies signed Willie Jones as an amateur free agent prior to the 1947 season. He split the next two years between the majors and minors, finding a full-time role in 1949.
Jones’ first full year in the majors went okay with a .244/.328/.421 line, 19 home runs, 77 runs batted in and a 102 OPS+ in 149 games. He wound up finishing 27th in MVP voting, receiving two vote points.
Jones earned his first of two All-Star appearances in 1950 after hitting 25 home runs, driving in 88 runs and posting a .793 OPS in a league-leading 157 games. He again received MVP votes, finishing 36th. He was an All-Star again the next year with 22 home runs, 81 runs batted in, a .285/.358/.470 line and the highest OPS (.828) of any full season in his career.
Jones had a couple of seasons around league-average before breaking out again in 1956 with an .812 OPS. That was his last standout year with the Phillies before being traded to the Cleveland Indians during the 1959 season.
Jones finished his time in Philadelphia with 24.1 wins above replacement, 1,400 hits, 180 home runs, 753 runs batted in, 39 stolen bases and a .258/.343/.410 line.
Among all players in franchise history, Jones ranks 24th in WAR for position players, 18th in offensive WAR, 11th in games played, 18th in runs scored, 17th in hits, 15th in total bases, 14th in runs batted and 13th in home runs.
Throughout his career, Jones carried tremendous plate discipline. He walked more than he struck out in every season as a Phillie. Among all Phillies with 3,000 or more plate appearances, Jones ranks ninth in walk-to-strikeout ratio (1.41). He ranks eighth in franchise history in walks with 693.