D-backs draft Druw Jones, son of 10-time Gold Glover, at No. 2

July 18th, 2022

We'll never know for sure who the D-backs would have taken if they had the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft on Sunday, but one thing that's certain is they were thrilled to get outfielder Druw Jones with the No. 2 selection.

Asked what stood out to the D-backs about Jones, first-year scouting director Ian Rebhan ran off a list of different things.

“I think the biggest thing is his athleticism, his defense and the way he can impact the game in so many ways,” Rebhan said. “I mean, it's hit and hit for power, and play really good defense in center field and run the bases, so I guess the answer would be everything. He can kind of do it all. He's a really dynamic five-tool player.”

The son of Andruw Jones, a five-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award winner in center field who belted 434 home runs, Druw is considered by some to be the best high school prospect since Bryce Harper. He’s also ranked as the No. 1 Draft prospect this year by MLB Pipeline. It would take a tremendous Major League career to match his father’s, but Jones has all the makings of a future big league star.

"Everybody says we’re pretty similar," Jones said about comparisons to his father. "A little bit different contact and power, but I’d say it’s about the same."

Jones put up incredible numbers in his senior year at Georgia’s Wesleyan High School, hitting .445 with a 1.494 OPS, 16 home runs and 14 steals in 38 games before being named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year. He’s demonstrated his great defensive skills in center field, showing the type of agility and instincts that helped make his dad one of the greatest defensive center fielders of all time. In fact, MLB Pipeline considers him to possibly be the best defensive player in this year’s Draft.

To put Jones’ talent into context, MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis wrote in January that of the top three prep prospects in each of the past four years, he has Jones ranked behind only Bobby Witt Jr. and ahead of shortstop Marcelo Mayer, whom the Red Sox selected fourth overall in 2021.

Because of how highly Jones was regarded, many expected he could go No. 1, with the D-backs then likely selecting high school shortstop Jackson Holliday at No. 2. Instead, Baltimore took Holliday first, and Arizona was thrilled to land Jones.

Jones visited Arizona for a pre-Draft workout and met with the D-backs' front office, as well as manager Torey Lovullo.

Jones fits well with an organization that has a number of talented up-the-middle players either in the big leagues -- like outfielders Alek Thomas and Daulton Varsho -- or coming soon, such as outfielder Corbin Carroll and shortstop Jordan Lawlar, Arizona's Nos. 1 and 2 prospects, respectively.

"It was a lot of fun, just being able to go out there and meet with the team," Jones said. "I’m just ready to go out there and play for a type of organization that is ready for young guys to be able to pursue their career and win a championship."

Jones is taller than his father was at the same age, and scouts expect that as he fills out his 6-foot-4, 180-pound frame, he’ll have plus power in the professional ranks. Jones also has great speed -- the type that will enable him to beat out ground balls to the left side -- and a strong arm. He emanates five-tool potential every time he takes the field.

“Druw has got it all,” his high school coach, Brian Krehmeyer, said. “You talk about the five tools and he even has the sixth one, which is the mental makeup, the composition of being able to handle the pressure and handle the ups and downs that a baseball season brings with it and still continue to perform day in and day out.”

Given his personality, Jones doesn't figure to be fazed by comparisons to his father, or any pressure that might come with it.

A case in point was during one of his games this season when the opposing team's student section began chanting "overrated" when Jones was at the plate. He silenced them when he proceeded to hit a homer, and the moment went viral on social media.

"I enjoyed that moment," Jones said. "I’ll probably never have that moment again."

The D-backs went to the college ranks for their final two selections of Day 1. In Competitive Balance Round A, they took Mississippi State right-hander Landon Sims with the No. 34 overall pick. In the second round, Arizona used the No. 43 overall selection on Texas first baseman Ivan Melendez, the 2022 Golden Spikes Award winner.