"You can't help but be impressed with how Nick has performed on the field, but it's going to take Adam a while. Nick had to play a couple of years to get to that stage. It is exciting, and our job is to add to that. We want to assemble as many of those type guys as we can."
Markakis and Jones have been teammates before. As members of the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League in 2005, Jones impressed Markakis with his eye-grabbing athleticism and with the ease that he made the transition from shortstop to the outfield. Markakis got Jones' attention with his natural ability, sweet swing and quiet demeanor. Before the Javelinas' first workout that year, all the players introduced themselves, and Jones remembers barely hearing Markakis when it was his turn to talk.
"You could tell right away that he was a real quiet guy," Jones said. "But he's a good dude, and the guy can flat-out play, plain and simple. He can do anything on the field. He can hit for power, hit for average, steal bases, throw guys out. He's a five-tool player. It's going to be fun playing with him."
Markakis and Jones haven't hung out much off the field this spring but have spent plenty of time talking during outfield drills.
"He's athletic, has a great bat, an unbelievable arm," Markakis said. "He has a lot better plate discipline than when I first saw him. ... He has some stuff to work on, but I do, too. Everybody does. It just takes time - experience, repetition. You just try to go out there and get better any way you can."
Ultimately, that is what this season will be about for the Orioles. If nothing else, fans will get the opportunity to watch two promising young players with vastly different personalities work side by side in the outfield,
"You have to be excited if you're an Orioles fan," first baseman Kevin Millar said. "You have a foundation now. You're looking at this thing turning around."
Sun reporters Dan Connolly, Peter Schmuck and Childs Walker contributed to this article.