James follows in the footsteps of Ospreys and Wales second row Jones in winning the award. Like Jones, who was in Argentina with Wales last summer, he was unable to be at the Millennium Stadium presentation night to receive his trophy in person.
"It was a great boost for me to receive this award last season and I know from first-hand experience just how good a prospect Tom is. He is an outstanding talent with a big future," said Jones.
"The Principality Premiership is a great breeding ground for young players and you only have to look at the nominees in the 'Best Newcomer' and 'Player of the Year' categories to see just how many good players there are at this level.
"The Premiership was a vital springboard for my career and I still have to pinch myself when I start thinking about possibly making the Wales Rugby World Cup squad later this year at such an early stage in my career."
While James carried off the 'Best Newcomer' award, Llanelli fullback Morgan Stoddard won the 'Player of the Year' title. The Principality Player of the Month Award winner in December, he was headhunted by the Scarlets and played in both the Magners League and Heineken Cup for the Regional side.
"Morgan matured throughout the season and played nine times for the Scarlets during the season. His pace and elusive running marked him out as a threat every time he had the ball and much more is expected of him next season," said Mostyn Richards, WRU Elite Performance Manager.
Ex-England international Alex Codling was voted 'Coach of the Year' after steering Ebbw Vale to the brink of the title. They eventually finished as runners-up to Neath.
Codling, who has taken a teaching post in London and will be switching to London Welsh to act as forwards coach next season, beat off the challenge of Pontypridd's Simon King and Llandovery's Iestyn Thomas.
"Good coaching is vital in the Premiership if we are to make the most of the abundance of young talent here in Wales. The quality of coaching last season was extremely high and the Premiership was far more competitive as a result," said Leighton Morgan, WRU Elite Coach Development manager.
"Alex turned Ebbw Vale into one of the most powerful packs in the division and their tough, uncompromising play brought his side to within one victory of taking the title."
It was a good night for the Steelmen as Ebbw Vale were named as the winners of the 'Fair Play' award for their friendly reception to match officials from club officials and supporters alike, while Neath stalwart Roy Evans picked up the Services to Rugby title after a quarter of a century working behind the scenes at The Gnoll.
As well as a trophy, each winner was presented with a cheque from the Principality Building Society.
Peter Griffiths, Chief Executive of Principality Building Society, said, "These awards are a chance for us to reflect on a competitive and successful season of the Principality Premiership. The calibre of players this league is producing is testament to the set-up in these sides, including the coaches, managers and everyone who works behind the scenes.
"We, as Wales's largest building society, are proud to be associated with the Premiership and wish all the teams every success for the next season."
Principality Building Society Award Winners:
BEST NEWCOMER - Tom James (Cardiff)
COACH OF THE YEAR - Alex Codling (Ebbw Vale)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Morgan Stoddard (Llanelli)
SERVICES TO RUGBY - Roy Evans (Neath)
FAIR PLAY AWARD - Ebbw Vale