Sunday, December 25, 2016

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #16 Ryder Jones

Ryder Jones, 3B.  DOB:  6/7/1994.  B-L, T-R.  6'3", 185 lbs.  Drafted in 2013 Round 2 High School.

2015 A+:  .268/.296/.394, 6 HR, 3.7 BB%, 18.5 K%, 432 PA.
2016 AA:  .247/.291/.397, 26 2B, 15 HR, 5.1 BB%, 15.4 K%, 513 PA.
2016 AFL:  .302/.380/.429, 2 HR, 9.9 BB%, 22.5 K%, 71 PA.

I have Jones ranked a lot higher than most analysts.  John Sickels has him in the Grade C prospects while Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs did not mention him at all in his review of the Giants system.  Jones was signed away from a Stanford commit the same year drafted Christian Arroyo, the only time I can recall the Giants taking HS hitters in the first two rounds.  While Arroyo has worked his way to the top of most Giants prospect rankings, Jones has been largely forgotten.  My theory is most evaluators take one look at his BA and BB% and just write him off.

Jones indeed does not draw a lot of walks and his BA has been uninspiring, but he also keeps his K rates under 20% and started to show his tremendous power potential in 2016 slugging 15 dingers for Richmond which is no small feat.  As I have said many times, the jump from A+ to AA is particularly tough for Giants hitting prospects.  Not only are they moving up a level, but to a much more hostile environment as Richmond is one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in a pitcher-friendly league.  Jones was able to more than double his HR output while increasing his walk rate and lowering his K rate.  He also got better as the season progressed hitting .233 before the all-star break and .277 after.  He also had a slight reverse L-R split hitting .242 against RHP and .265 against LHP's.  He went on to have an excellent AFL campaign showing much better BA and BB% albeit in a small sample size.

Jones doesn't look like he's be a great defender and he's been slightly negative at the hot corner most of his pro career, but he even improved that in 2016 with a +5 rating on the Davenport Scale.  He has a strong throwing arm.  Interestingly, he played mostly 1B and a little LF in the AFL with positive reports about his D at 1B.

I saw Ryder Jones play in San Bernardino in 2015.  One game in particular I recall where he went 1 for 5, but squared up the ball in 4 of his AB's with 1 hit and 3 loud outs.  I think he has off the charts power potential that a lot of folks are sleeping on.  He has kind of long, almost spindly arms and legs, but is massive across the chest and shoulders.  I found one video describing his off-season workout program which he started after his first full pro season when he faded badly from the grind of pro ball.  If he keeps that up and continues to develop as a hitter, this guy is going to hit 30 dingers someday!

I'm not sure where Jones is going to play in 2017.  The Giants have all but announced that Christian Arroyo will be the starting 3B for Sacramento.  I'm not sure what the 1B situation will be, so he may wind up back in Richmond.  He's still fairly young, especially for a power hitting prospect, so that would not be the end of the world for his future.

1 comment:

  1. I imagine the 1B situation in Sacramento is Morse