MLB Draft Profile: Druw Jonesby Andersen Pickard May 15, 2022 5 comments
The 2022 MLB Draft will begin on July 17, 2022. We take a look at Druw Jones, a fascinating athlete who hails from Wesleyan High School in Georgia and has tremendous five-tool potential. The son of former MLB star Andruw Jones is currently slated to play college baseball at Vanderbilt, but it’s fair to assume he’ll forego that commitment once he’s selected with a top pick in the coming months.
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Druw Jones, Outfielder, Wesleyan (Ga.)
Weight: 180 lbs.
2021 Stats: .445 BA, 1.494 OPS, 16 HR, 39 RBI, 58 R, 14 SB
Scouts and analysts alike have known for a while that Jones is a must-watch player. His sound playing style and impressive blend of all five tools have landed him among the top names in the upcoming MLB Draft. The son of five-time All-Star Andruw Jones, Druw is a standout at showcases and was named Perfect Game’s Defensive National Player of the Year and MaxPreps Baseball All-American First Team Selection, among other highly-regarded accolades.
Let’s start at the plate. Offensively, Jones has a very sound, composed swing that allows him to prioritize contact and put the ball in play. He has great bat speed and demonstrates a knack for peppering the ball into gaps. Jones has shown that he is capable of waiting on the ball and making adjustments in an instant. He does a good job turning on inside pitches and pulling the ball to left field, too. Jones has above-average power, a trait that he will likely build on even further as he continues to grow and develop.
Defensively, Jones has shown off great instincts while tracking fly balls in the outfield. His plus-plus speed gives him great range, and he is very capable of catching the ball while on the run. This trait is, without a doubt, the best part of his game. Once he fields the ball, Jones fires it into the infield with an accurate and relatively strong arm. Jones also has plenty of experience playing shortstop in high school, adding further confirmation that he is a versatile athlete with great fielding skills.
Finally, Jones is a great baserunner. Once he gets going, there’s no slowing him down. He runs with focus and ferocity, hustling from base to base with ease.
Although Jones is a strong hitter, this is also his most incomplete trait. There are certainly holes in his presence at the plate. Notably, Jones has had some trouble putting outside pitches in play. More often than not, he’ll simply spoil them, which isn’t a glaring problem by any means. However, it is an area of weakness that pitchers could learn to attack.
Defensively, the only major concern that shows up on film relates to Jones’s throws. Sometimes, his throws from the outfield will come up a hop or two short of the intended fielder. Underthrowing a target is better than overthrowing a target, but hitting the fielder in the glove could elevate Jones’s defensive ability one step further.
Pro Comparison: Mookie Betts
Jones is such a special prospect that it’s impossible to find an accurate comparison. However, it’s hard to shake the idea of Mookie Betts when thinking about Jones’s profile. Both are right-handers who are great at putting the ball in play and are above-average but not elite in terms of power and baserunning. They both play with physicality and intensity and are skillful in terms of covering ground in the outfield. Yet, it’s imperative to mention that differences abound, too. For starters, Betts is a right-fielder. Jones should spend his entire career in center field. Jones is also better defensively than Betts. Furthermore, Betts came up as an infielder while Jones, despite playing a combination of shortstop and center field, should be a full-time outfielder throughout the entirety of his development. Finally, Betts is a whole seven inches shorter than Jones. So while there are some similarities, let these numerous differences tell you the truth: that Jones is a special prospect with a truly unique blend of skills.
Draft Projection: First Round
Not only will Jones be drafted in the first round, but he’s currently the favorite to be selected first overall. The Orioles hold the No. 1 pick for the second time in four years. After selecting catcher Adley Rutschman in the first round back in 2019, Baltimore chose outfielders in the first rounds of the last two drafts. That shouldn’t deter them from taking a prospect as elite as Jones, but if it does, the Diamondbacks’ and Rangers’ options at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, would become much more exciting.