Get to Know Giants’ Prospect Ryder Jones


Earlier in this series on San Francisco Giants’ prospects, a profile was done on Mitch Delfino, who I think has the potential to be the Giants’ third baseman of the future. There is also another young third baseman in the organization who the team thinks has a bright future.

Ryder Jones was drafted by the Giants in 2013 in the second round, as the 64th overall pick. He was selected directly from Watauga High School in Boone, North Carolina. Despite initially intending to attend Stanford University, Jones instead opted to sign with San Francisco and turn pro.

In his senior season at Watauga, the left-handed hitting Jones batted .461, with 11 home runs and 43 RBI’s, setting school records in both categories. He was named a 2013 Rawlings first-team All-American.

As a 19 year-old, the freshly drafted Jones was placed in the Rookie League with the Arizona Giants. In his 37 games, he hit .317 with one homer, nine doubles, and 18 RBI’s. Maybe the most impressive number from that season was his .394 on-base percentage.

In 2014, Jones was promoted to the Single-A Augusta Green Jackets. It was rough sledding for the youngster. In 91 games, he hovered around the Mendoza Line, winding up at a less than impressive .220 average. He combined that with seven home runs, 21 doubles and 49 RBI’s. The Giants were faced with a tough decision, and Jones was demoted to the Low-A Salem-Keizer Volcanoes during the season.

Jones’ numbers with Salem-Keizer took a slight upward tick, but his .243 average was still low for a second-round draft pick. He also added three home runs, five doubles and 18 RBI’s.

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Overall in his still-budding young career, Jones has played in 155 games, hit .246 with 11 dingers, 35 doubles, and 85 RBI’s. Delfino, who has appeared in nearly twice as many games, has hit .276 with 25 homers, 71 doubles, and 174 RBI’s.

When Jones’ statistics are projected over the same amount of games as Delfino, he would hit 22 homers, 69 doubles, and 168 RBI’s. Despite Jones’ average being 30 points lower than Delfino’s, the home runs, doubles, and RBI’s are very similar.

Jones has a great approach as a hitter. His father is Billy Jones, head baseball coach at Appalachian State University, so Ryder was taught very well growing up. He is a good contact hitter with a compact, easy swing who uses all fields. His eye is very good, and he lays off bad pitches often. He is also likely to add more power as adds weight to his 6’3″, 195 pound frame.

He has a wide-set stance, with a fairly deep crouch. His stride step is short and to the point. In his swing, he features a bit of a Bryce Harper-like ‘whipping’ motion.

Defensively, Jones was drafted as a shortstop out of high school, but has been moved to third base in the pros, as Christian Arroyo seems to have shortstop locked down. Jones has average speed and quickness which limits his range, so third base seems like a better fit. His throwing arm is not much of a question, as he was clocked in the low 90’s as a high school pitcher.

2014 was a rough season for Jones. But at just 20 years old, he is still about a year younger than the average player at the same level. He has plenty of time to develop, as time is definitely on his side.