Giants take Jones in second round
Watauga High School senior Ryder Jones on Thursday was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the second round of the Major League Amateur Baseball Draft.
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 finish. He tied the school record for home runs and set a new WHS record for RBI.
Jones also set school records with 21 walks and eight intentional walks. And he tied the school record with two grand slams in one season -- setting a new record for two grand slams in one game on April 17, along with Tyler Sturgill.
Jones' efforts earned him the honor of 2012-13 Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Player of the Year -- the first ever selected from WHS -- as well as selections as All-Northwestern 3A-4A Conference and Conference Player of the Year.
Jones, the 64th pick, is the second player from the Northwestern 3A-4A Conference to be drafted by the Giants out of high school. San Francisco took South Caldwell pitcher Madison Bumgarner with the 10th pick in the 2007 first round.
Scouting reports by Baseball America and MLB.com indicate Jones has a large frame with room to add strength, a good feel for the game and a range and size well suited for third base. Scouts say his abilities could lend themselves to relief pitching, as well, with a fastball in the low 90s and he a solid breaking ball.
Jones signed his National Letter of Intent with Stanford University in the Pacific 12 Conference in November 2012.
Jones' straight-from-high-school second-round selection is the highest for any WHS baseball player, a distinction previously held by Jonathan Greene, who went to the Texas Rangers in the 2007 eighth round. Greene was a junior at Western Carolina University when he was drafted.
Jones is the son of Appalachian State University baseball coach Billy Jones, who led the Mountaineers to a 30-24 record in his first season as head coach.
Coming into his senior season at WHS, Ryder Jones was a Rawlings Preseason First Team All-American. As a junior at Stillwater (Okla.) High last season, he received 2012 Honorable Mention All-State honors from The Oklahoman.
Hunter Harvey, a right-hander from Bandys High in Catawba, was
selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the 22nd pick in the first round.