JUNE 11: Jones receives the full slot value of $3,027,000, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis (via Twitter).
JUNE 7: The Rays have agreed to an at-slot deal with 22nd overall selection Greg Jones, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link). The UNC-Wilmington shortstop will receive just over $3MM.
Jones was a bit of a polarizing player entering the draft. All agreed that Jones has true standout speed and base-running ability, with at least average raw power. His prospect value depends upon whether you believe he’ll ultimately make full use of his tools.
The Fangraphs prospect team was far and away the most bullish, ranking Jones 27th overall. MLB.com and Baseball America were slightly more concerned with the profile, grading Jones in the top-fifty range. ESPN.com’s Keith Law did not include Jones in his own top fifty list, but did mention that he anticipates an eventual move to the outfield.
Going to the outfield grass isn’t necessarily a problem, as Jones seems to have the promise of becoming a high-grade defender in center. The question remains whether he’ll ever hit enough to be a big-league regular. The Rays obviously see a path to that outcome.