PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft Druw Jones got his first taste of the big leagues on Saturday.
Well, his first as a professional player that is after signing his contract worth a reported $8.18 million.
The son of five-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glover Andruw Jones took batting practice at Chase Field for the first time on Saturday prior to the D-backs’ matchup against the Washington Nationals.
Jones impressed in front of the masses with his fluid swing that sprayed the ball all over the park, including a few that banged off the wall or went over the fence completely.
— Jake Anderson (@jwa1994) July 23, 2022
“You get to see a lot of the different technology that they use for when they hit and when they face different pitchers and things like that,” Jones said after his first BP session at Chase Field. “You don’t get a lot of that stuff when you’re in high school, so it’s a good experience to see what they use to help with it.”
Jones also did some glove work in the center field with the rest of the outfielders.
In fact, one of the flyballs was intentionally knocked off the rafters at Chase Field and if Jones wasn’t able to come up with the grab, left fielder David Peralta said he would have to foot the dinner bill for the entire outfield.
Luckily for the 18-year-old prospect, he was able to make the catch and prove why he was a 2022 ABCA/Rawlings High School Gold Glove Award recipient.
“I’ve never had anyone in my many, many drafts that I could say that about who played center field because there’s a lot about the acumen of how to do that position correctly,” Jones’ agent Scott Boras said when comparing him to Roberto Alomar.
“And Druw has obviously had great tutelage. But he also has an instinct about him. That ball hit that rafters, I [thought there was] no chance of catching it and he caught it. So that’s the first instinct I’ll tell you about what Druw can do.”
Jones will now head to the D-backs’ Arizona Complex League rookie-ball team.
On Thursday, Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke to look at the career paths of prospects Corbin Carroll and Jordan Lawlar when it comes to Jones’ trajectory to the big leagues.
The 20-year-old Lawlar was selected No. 6 overall in the 2021 MLB Draft and has was recently called up to Arizona’s High-A affiliate in addition to playing in the 2022 All-Star Futures Game with Carroll on July 17.
The 21-year-old Carroll was drafted No. 16 overall in 2019 and was recently brought up to Triple-A Reno, with his next promotion being his MLB debut.
Based on those timelines, it’s possible the Diamondbacks could deploy an outfield that consists of Alek Thomas, Carroll and Jones in just a few years’ time.
“It’s a lot of young guys, it’s a good group. There’s three core outfielders now,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of young guys and the coaching staff is always for the young guys. And it means a lot to be one of those guys that they are hopeful to have in the future.”