June 5, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State red-shirt junior second baseman Ryan Jones was selected in the 13th round (No. 418 overall) of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.
Jones becomes the highest drafted second baseman in the history of the program since the inception of the MLB First-Year Player Draft in 1965 (previous high: Cordell Ross, 18th round, 1984).
The only Spartan second baseman in school history to earn All-Big Ten honors three times (second team in 2010; first team in 2011; second team in 2012), Jones already ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in doubles (second with 46), hits (third with 240) and runs (sixth with 147).
The Haslett, Mich., native owns a career batting average of .358 and has five homers and 104 RBIs to go along with his .431 on-base percentage. He has started 163 career games at second base.
"It's a dream come true," said Jones on when he found out he was drafted by the Giants. "When I saw my name pop up it was something special, and something that I will remember forever. I'm just happy for the opportunity.
"I didn't really have a picture of how it was going to go down, so I just had a clear mind, and whatever happened, happened. I was with my buddies and went golfing in the morning. I was just laying low, it was a nice day so I was just hanging out, and it took my mind off it. It was a good day.
"I'll find out what the offer is and talk it over with my family and advisor. That's when I'll find out (if I'm going). If I do start playing pro ball, I would like to get an early start. If something doesn't work out and I go back to college, then I'll stay with that."
The deadline for drafted players to sign a contract with a Major League team is July 13.
"Ryan is a leadoff-type of hitter who is going to put the ball in play," said Michigan State head coach Jake Boss. "He gets a lot of base hits, especially in the middle of the field. He also has an outstanding glove at second base. Ryan plays the game hard and the right way."
As a junior this season, Jones collected a Big Ten-best 92 hits, which ranks third most in an MSU single-season and currently ranks 16th in the nation. He also finished among the Big Ten leaders in nine other offensive categories, including at-bats (first with a school-record 261), sacrifice flies (tied for second with 6), runs (third with 52), total bases (fourth with 123), doubles (fifth with 16), walks (sixth with 35), batting (ninth at .352), on-base percentage (ninth at .422) and triples (tied for 10th with 3).
Jones tied for the team lead with 18 two-out RBIs and 10 multiple RBI games, and ranked second with 25 multi-hit games. He hit .378 (31-for-82) in the seventh inning or later.
An excellent defensive player, Jones ranked second in the Big Ten with a school-record 188 assists.
Last season, Jones became the first Spartan to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors at second base in 36 years as he hit .344 and led the team with a .442 on-base percentage. During his All-Big Ten campaign as a sophomore, Jones collected a school-record 33-game hitting streak from March 6 to May 8. It tied for the longest hitting streak in the nation in 2011.
Last summer, Jones was named to the Cape Cod League All-Star Team while playing for the Brewster Whitecaps. He finished 17th in the CCL with a .283 average during the 44-game regular season, and had a hit and a run in the CCL All-Star Game at Fenway Park on July 29.
In 2010, Jones was the first Spartan to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was also a second-team all-conference selection after he hit a career-high .380 with 12 doubles, four triples, one homer and 37 RBIs.
The MLB Draft resumes Wednesday at noon with rounds 16-40. Follow live at www.mlb.com.