The San Francisco Giants selected Watauga High senior Ryder Jones in the second round of the Major League Amateur Baseball Draft with the 64th pick late Thursday night. Jones becomes the second player from the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference to be selected by the Giants right out of high school.
San Francisco selected left handed pitcher Madison Bumgarner from South Caldwell with the tenth pick in the first round of the draft in 2007.
Jones was named the 2012-13 Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Player of the Year. Jones, who signed his National Letter of Intent with Stanford University in the Pacific 12 Conference, is the first Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Watauga High School. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound senior shortstop batted .461 with 11 home runs and 43 RBI this past season, leading the Pioneers to a 15-11 record.
Jones tied the school record this season for home runs (tied with Jonathan Greene in 2004), and set a new school record for RBI (the old mark was 35 set by Greene in 2004). Jones also set a school record with 21 walks and eight intentional walks. Jones also tied the school record with two grand slams in one season (Josh Roberts 2010) and he, along with Tyler Sturgill, set a school record with two grand slams in one game (against Fred T. Foard on April 17).
Jones was an All-Northwestern 3A/4A Conference selection and he was named the NW3A/4A Conference Player of the Year.
Jones was projected to go in the second round by Perfectgame.org. He was listed as the 54th prospect by Perfectgame among high school players entering the MLB Amateur Draft. He was listed as the 197th prospect among Baseball America's top 500 players eligible for the draft. Jones signed with Stanford in November of 2012.
Jones is also the first WHS baseball player to be taken this high in the MLB Draft right out of high school. Greene originally held that distinction. He was taken by the Texas Rangers in the eighth round of the draft in 2007. But Greene, who graduated from WHS in 2004, was a junior at Western Carolina University when he was selected by the Rangers.
According to scouting reports by Baseball America and MLB.com, Jones has a big frame with room to add strength at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, and projects to have at least average power. He has a good feel for the game. Jones is considered a two-way prospect, but his future is probably as an everyday player. He plays shortstop now, but his range and his size are better suited for third base. At the plate, Jones has good power. On the mound, Jones’ fastball has been clocked in the low-90s and he also throws a solid breaking ball. If he becomes a pitcher, scouts see him as a reliever.
His father, Billy, is the baseball coach at Appalachian State University. He led the Mountaineers to a 30-24 record in his first season as head coach. Jones was a Rawlings Preseason First Team All-American as named by Perfect Game USA, Jones recorded 31 runs, 21 walks and 11 doubles. He compiled a .652 on-base percentage and a .987 slugging percentage. Also a right-handed pitcher, Jones owned a 4-3 record with one save, a 1.23 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 40.1 innings-pitched. As a junior at Stillwater (Okla.) High last season, he captured 2012 Honorable Mention All-State honors from The Oklahoman.
Jones was one of two high school players the Giants selected in Thursday night's draft. San Francisco selected shortstop Christian Arroyo from Hernando High School in Brooksville, FL., with the 25th pick in the first round. Mark Appel, a right hander from Stanford, went to the Houston Astros with the No.1 overall pick in the draft.
Hunter Harvey, a right hander from Bandys High in Catawba, N.C., was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the 22nd pick in the first round. His father, Bryan, played in the Majors for nine seasons (1987-95) for the California Angels and the Florida Marlins. Bryan Harvery won 17 big league games with 177 career saves.
Hunter Harvey was 8-0 with a 0.38 ERA with 116 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings this season at Bandys. He's projected to be a starting pitcher.
Photo Courtesy: Ryder Jones, PHOTO SUBMITTED