As Spring Training inches closer, the Arizona Diamondbacks continued to tinker with organizational depth by adding a former SF Giants prospect.
Last week, the Diamondbacks brought in former SF Giants corner infield prospect Ryder Jones on a minor-league pact. It is not yet known if the deal includes an invite to spring training, but Jones was not originally included on the team’s list of non-roster invites.
Diamondbacks sign a former SF Giants slugging prospect
San Francisco selected Jones in the second round of the 2013 draft out of Watauga High School in Boone, North Carolina. At the time, Jones’ selection was thought to be an overdraft.
As a prospect drafted out of high school, the left-handed bat made a gradual and deliberate ascent through the minor-league ranks.
In the minors, Jones struggled to find the consistency that would make him an intriguing prospect, but he appeared to turn the corner once he reached Triple-A in 2017. In 273 plate appearances with Sacramento, he posted an impressive .312/.396/.574 line with 13 home runs and 44 RBI before earning a promotion to San Francisco.
However, Jones struggled right out of the gates as a major leaguer as he needed 18 at-bats to record his first hit. Despite this, he saw significant playing time as a rookie where he produced a .173/.244/.273 line with two home runs and five RBI in 164 plate appearances.
Jones sustained a knee injury in 2018 that put him on the shelf for an extended period. Though, before the injury, he swatted two home runs in eight at-bats for the Giants.
With that being said, the 26-year-old slipped down the team’s depth chart with the new front office taking over in 2018, and he was placed on waivers midway through the 2019 season. After going unclaimed, Jones finished out the season in the Giants organization but became a free agent in that offseason.
In 2020, he signed on with the Boston Red Sox alongside several other former SF Giants prospects including Tommy Joseph and Mike Kichham. However, Jones did not make the club but worked out at the training site if the need arose. Interestingly, he posted an .868 OPS in 76 at-bats with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Constellation Energy League in 2020 as well.
Jones will likely serve as a depth option for the Diamondbacks for this upcoming season. He does bring power upside with some versatility to the table. However, he is still only 26-year-old, so there might be some development remaining for him to realize with consistent playing time. Hopefully, the Diamondbacks afford him that opportunity.