2012 Draft: Christian Jones

Thursday Night Open Thread
Sanchez homers twice in big Charleston win

The 2012 amateur draft is only five days away, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.

Christian Jones | LHP

A potential first round pick coming into the spring, Jones grew up in the Bay Area before headed to the University of Oregon. His draft stock took a huge hit when he blew out his elbow in February and needed Tommy John surgery.

Scouting Report
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 210 lbs., Jones throws three pitches from a low arm slot when healthy. His sinking fastball sits in the low-90s and his slider sweeps across the plate, as you’d expect given his arm slot. A changeup serves as his third offering. Jones repeats his classic drop-and-drive delivery well, but he can still suffer through bouts of wildness on occasion. His makeup and work ethic are considered major pluses and his rehab is going well by all indications.

The new spending restrictions really screw over a kid like Jones, who went from a potential top pick to someone who might not be drafted at all. Baseball America ranked him as the 315th best prospect in the draft following the elbow injury, so way down the list. With teams unable to pay him say, third or fourth round money without incurring harsh penalties, there’s a very good chance Jones will return to school and come out as a potential top pick in next year’s draft. I really like him as a late-round upside play, but the system really doesn’t allow for those kind of picks anymore.

Thursday Night Open Thread
Sanchez homers twice in big Charleston win
  • boogie down

    I mean, baseball realizes it is now driving potential players AWAY from the game, right? More and more two-sport stars (say, football and baseball) will take up colleges on their scholarship offers for the other sport.

    Sad, really.

    • Brian Cashman is Watching

      I generally agree, but I wonder how football’s concussion issues, combined with salary caps in football, basketball and hockey, allows baseball to be a little stricter with draft bonuses. If fewer kids are playing football in the future, and all the other major sports keep limiting bonus demands, baseball looks good in comparison, then maybe baseball believes it can be strict too. Maybe Bud Selig said “we can screw our draft picks because other sports are even worse to them.”

      • Ted Nelson

        I don’t think that it’s correct to say they’re screwing their picks. They will still get a ton of money. First round slots actually went up substantially.

    • Ted Nelson

      What percentage of good draft prospects have any real shot in another sport?

      They might be wrong in the end, but I’m willing to bet MLB has infinitely more information than you or I on this.

      • Voice of Reason

        I imagine it’s under 1%, we’re probably looking at a few notable players per draft class and that’s about it.

        Who’s going to pursue football instead of baseball in this year’s class because of this? It takes Jameis Winston off the table completely, but the odds of him signing were gonna be remote anyway. Almost certainly Anthony Alford, but he’ll be playing baseball in college as well so I don’t even know if he counts. I don’t know of anyone else. Would Bubba Starling have played football for certain if he could only get $3.5 million+ rather than $7.5 million? Who knows? Brandon Jacobs of the Red Sox is a good example, but these guys are really few and far between.

        I think it’s more of a talking point born out of frustration with the new system than an actual concern. Baseball won’t miss the odd prospect here and there that can’t be bought out of playing football, and there definitely won’t be a decline in baseball participation because bonus decreases. Not a chance. The real difference is that baseball players will go to college more often.

  • J. Scott

    I’ve been down this road before, and maybe it means something and maybe it doesn’t, but…

    As far as I’ve been able to determine only two pitchers have had TJ PRIOR to reaching the Majors and then gone on to have SUBSTANTIAL careers as starting pitchers: David Wells and Kenny Rogers.

    My thinking about this kid is “Approach with EXTREME caution.”

  • Chris

    A record of 1-0 and an ERA of 6..WHAAAAT????

  • Ted Nelson

    Can we stop with the false narratives about the new system? I mean why are you blatantly lying about the system? The Yankees have $1.6 mill for their late first. If they sign a guy to what used to be slot there, they have like $800,000 to spread to other picks.

    Stop looking for all the negatives in the system to the point of making them up. Is it too much to ask to just evaluate it rationally?

  • joshfortunatus

    Has a Hamels-y motion until it gets to the arm slot, I think.