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WHS Baseball Standout Ryder Jones Begins Professional Career With San Francisco Giants Farm Team

By Jesse Wood

July 2, 2013. The month of June provided quite a ride for Watauga High School graduate Ryder Jones. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants and signed for a nice sum. 

Ryder Jones receiving the WHS Athlete of the Week award in April.
Ryder Jones receiving the WHS Athlete of the Week award in April.

He met Hall of Famer Willie Mays, and in his professional debut last Friday, Jones had two hits and scored a run as the Arizona League Giants beat the Arizona League Diamondbacks in a 5-1 victory.

San Francisco Giants drafted Jones in the second round of the 2013 Major League Baseball first-year player draft. Although he had committed to powerhouse Stanford University, Jones signed an offer with Giants days after the draft that included an $880,000 signing bonus. 

Jones, who was awarded the USA Today/Gatorade N.C. Player of the Year in May, isn’t a Watauga County native, though. He moved to the High Country for his senior year because his father Billy Jones, a former Oklahoma State assistant coach, was named the head coach of ASU’s baseball team during the 2012 summer.

A shortstop and pitcher at WHS, he is starting his professional career as a third basemen. The Giants drafted shortstop Christian Arroyo in the first round, and the two are now roommates.

After the duo went a combined 3 for 6 in their professional debuts last Friday, the San Jose Mercury News wrote: “They’re years away, but given that both came out of high school and play on the same side of the infield, that could be a fun duo to watch as they move through the minors together.”

After his debut, Jones tweeted, “Love this game.”

In his senior season at Watauga, Jones, who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, batted .461 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs. While on the mound, he threw 63 strikeouts with a 1.23 ERA on 40.1 -innings pitched.

In the classroom, he maintained a 4.00 GPA.