Watauga High Athletic Director Tom Wright has announced that the baseball team will be retiring the jersey's of former standouts Jonathan Greene and Ryder Jones during halftime ceremonies of the boy's basketball game against Wilkes Central Wednesday night at Lentz-Eggers Gym.
Greene, who wore the No.26, graduated from WHS in the spring of 2004 and played at Western Carolina University before he was selected by the Texas Rangers in the eighth-round (260th overall pick) of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft in 2007.
Greene played professionally for five years, 2007-11. He had 83 home runs at the professional level with a .257 batting average. He batted .248 with 11 home runs and 44 runs-batted-in with Spokane of the Class A (short-season) Northwest League. His best seasons came with Bakersfield in the Class A California State League in 2009 and with Frisco in the Class AA Texas League in 2011.
Greene batted .273 in 2009 with Bakersfield. He belted 20 home runs, with 27 doubles, 77 RBI and a .489 slugging percentage; at Frisco in 2011, he batted .292 with 29 doubles, 18 home runs and 75 RBI with a .462 slugging percentage.
Greene set school records during his at the time at WHS of 11 home runs and 35 RBI during his senior year in '04. As a senior at WHS, Greene batted .561. He also had 19 doubles. He was also a two-time Northwestern 4A All-Conference performer. In football, Greene led the Pioneers in rushing and tackles as a senior. He was a co-recipient of the Trailblazer Award, which goes to his school's top male athlete. He shared that honor with Seth Breitenstein.
Greene was named First Team All-Southern Conference in 2006, and he was named to the 2007 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason All-American second team. He help WCU to a SoCon regular-season title in 2007, and he was teammates with pitcher Greg Holland, now a member of the Kansas City Royals.
Greene voluntarily retired from professional baseball before the 2012 season.
Jones, who wore the No.9 jersey, transferred to WHS from Stillwater, OK., as a rising senior in the summer of 2012 when his father, Billy, was named the new baseball coach at Appalachian State University.
Jones, in his only season as a member of the Pioneers, tied Greene's single-season record with 11 home run and set a new school record with 43 RBI last spring. He also batted .461 and was named the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference Player of the Year, the North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, he was named all-state by NCPreps.com and the North Carolina Baseball Coaches Association.
Jones was selected in the second round of the MLB Amatuer Draft last June by the San Francisco Giants with the 64th pick overall. Jones played for the Rookie Arizona League Giants last summer and batted .317 in his first professional season with a home run, nine doubles and 18 RBI.
He is scheduled to play for the Augusta GreenJackets of the lower Class A South Atlantic League this summer.
Photo Courtesy: Jonathan Greene, PHOTO SUBMITTED