Daryl Jones (minors02)
Note: This page discusses 2009 Futures Game player Daryl Jones. For the 1979 major leaguer Darryl Jones, click here.
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 180 lb.
- High School Spring High School
Daryl Jones opens 2010 in AA.
Jones was All-American in football, All-State in baseball and the district long jump champion in track in high school. He had hit .463 as a senior in high school; Baseball America named him a third-team All-American outfielder - the second team consisted of Jay Bruce, Jordan Danks and Kyle Russell while the first team had Andrew McCutchen and Cameron Maybin. He was recruited by both the University of Texas and the University of Miami to play wide receiver. The St. Louis Cardinals chose the athletic Jones in the 3rd round of the 2005 amateur draft and convinced him to choose baseball for a career. He was signed by scout Joe Almaraz and began his pro career that summer.
After his high school stardom, Jones was a let-down his first pro campaign, hitting just .209/.311/.286 for the Johnson City Cardinals with 10 steals in 14 tries. He was named the fastest baserunner and best athlete among Cardinals minor leaguers by Baseball America regardless.
Jones split 2006 between Johnson City (.265/.367/.471 in 20 G) and the Swing of the Quad Cities (.235/.308/.358 in 26 G), hampered by a hamstring injury. Baseball America still rated him as the #6 Appalachian League prospect, between Jamie Richmond and Desmond Jennings. In 2007, he was healthy but not too productive with Quad Cities - .217/.304/.296, 22 steals but 12 times thrown out, 71 runs. He was rated as the fastest baserunner in the Cards chain by Baseball America.
Daryl seemingly put it all together in 2008 when he batted .326/.406/.476 for the Palm Beach Cardinals and .290/.409/.500 for the Springfield Cardinals. He led all St. Louis minor leaguers in steals (24 in 30 tries) OBP (.407) and triples (8, tied with Brandon Yarbrough). He was named the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year. Had he qualified, he would have been second in the Florida State League in average behind Logan Morrison.
Jones hit .279/.360/.378 for the 2009 Springfield Cardinals but missed over a month late in the year with a left quad strain in a bit of a setback year. He also was showing less speed, with just 7 steals in 11 tries. In the 2009 Futures Game, he replaced Chris Heisey in left field for the USA. He singled off Luis Pérez in his first at-bat and came home on a Jason Castro homer, then popped up versus Juan Carlos Sulbaran the next time up. He only batted .205 for the Surprise Rafters in the high-scoring Arizona Fall League. Baseball America still rated him as the #4 St. Louis system prospect and the organization's top athlete.
Daryl has begun 2010 even slower than 2009, batting just .228/.330/.393 after 25 games with Springfield. Still, he was only 22 years old.