The White Sox have kept themselves busy during this lockout via minor league depth.
Third baseman Ryder Jones has agreed to terms with the organization on a minor league deal, per MLB.com’s transaction tracker. The move became official this past Wednesday, January 12th.
Jones, 27, was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 2nd round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of Watauga High School. He had 172 plate appearances at the MLB level with the Giants from 2017-2018, slashing just .184/.250/.316 while playing both third and first base. He has recently had minor league stints with both Boston and Arizona.
After Jones’ debut, he jumped around a bit due to suffering a “freak” knee injury in 2018 that required surgery. He has yet to make it back to the major leagues since then.
In 2021, Jones slashed .288/.334/.500 across Double-A and Triple-A with the Arizona Diamondbacks, with the majority of his playing time occurring at Double-A Amarillo. He is described by Joe Doyle (Prospects Live) as having “above-average pop” and an “average defender with a big arm. Hit tool needs development.”
There is definitely truth to Doyle’s assessment, as he hasn’t walked above a 10% rate since his best minor league season in 2017, during which he slashed .312/.396/.574. He walked just 6% of the time in AA Amarillo this season, although only struck out 20% of the time as well.
Though he is listed as a third baseman, Jones also has experience at both first base and in the outfield, so he serves as all-around depth for the White Sox in case of injuries throughout the year. His left-handed profile is interesting, but unless Jones incorporates improved plate discipline in 2022, his role on the 2022 White Sox will remain that of depth. He was reportedly assigned to Triple-A Charlotte upon signing.
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Featured Photo: San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) / Twitter