The Diamondbacks have agreed to terms with their first-round pick from this year’s draft, Druw Jones, per New York Post’s Jon Heyman. Heyman reports that Jones will take home a bonus of $8.1851MM, which is the exact listed slot value for the second overall pick. However, Jim Callis of MLB.com relays that the slot values were changed just a few days before the draft and that Jones will actually get a bonus of $8.1894MM, which is the new slot value.
Jones, 18, was selected out of Wesleyan High School in Norcross, Georgia. He is a center fielder just like his father, long-time Braves outfielder Andruw Jones. Despite his young age, Jones has been long mentioned as one of the best players available in this draft class, both because of his name-brand pedigree and his incredible talents on the field.
Baseball America ranked him the best player in the draft, giving him grades of 55 or higher on the 20-80 scouting scale in each of the five categories for position players (60 hit, 55 power, 70 run, 70 field and 65 arm). Jones also took the top spot in the rankings at FanGraphs, The Athletic, ESPN and MLB Pipeline. Despite that unanimous praise as the top player available, the Orioles decided to use the first pick of the draft on Jackson Holliday, another second-generation player, the son of Matt Holliday. That allowed the Diamondbacks to select Jones with the second pick of the draft.
Jones had committed to join Vanderbilt but it seems he will forgo that commitment to jump into the Diamondbacks system, giving them an enviable bumper crop of exciting young outfielders. Though he is still quite young and it would be unfair to expect him, or any prospect, to shoot up the minor league ladder with speed, the D-Backs and their fans will surely be dreaming of seeing Jones in their future outfield mix next to the recently-promoted Alek Thomas and Corbin Carroll, who recently made the jump to Triple-A and is widely considered to be one of the best prospects in the sport.