As a weekly reminder of who's doing good things down in the minors, Giant Potential will name a "Prospect of the Week" every Thursday afternoon, along with a few honorable mentions, highlighting the best of San Francisco Giants hopefuls. It's week nine, and it's also draft day. Celebrating his birthday last Tuesday, it's the Giants' second-round pick back in 2013, third baseman Ryder Jones.
- Age: 22
- Hometown: Boone, N.C.
- Height/Weight: 6'3", 215 lbs.
- Drafted: 2013, 2nd round
- School: Watauga High School
- Key Stats: 9 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, .360 AVG, .680 SLG
Turning 22 on Tuesday was Richmond Flying Squirrels third baseman Ryder Jones. He celebrated by hitting his sixth home run of the season, which tied his season total from last year in 432 plate appearances with the San Jose Giants in a hitter-friendly California League. The next day, he hit his seventh of the year, and with 13 doubles, raised his slugging percentage to .420 on the season, which is 26 points higher than 2015's mark.
The high school product from Boone, N.C. may be finding his stride in a league that generally proves to be one of the more accurate representations of future success. Jones' upswing in power moving into the Eastern League could certainly be an indicator of some big improvements happening, especially considering that at his age, he's 2.7 years younger than the league average.
Jones has also seen his strikeout rates drop each year. Beginning in his draft year with the AZL Giants, Jones struck out 38 times in just 165 plate appearances, which gave him a 26.2 K%. It dropped to 22.1% in 2014 split between Salem-Keizer and Augusta, dropped again in 2015 to 18.5% last season in San Jose, and through 217 plate appearances this year, he's lowered it even further to 15.2%.
- RF Steven Duggar: 7 H, 2 HR, 6 BB, .609 OBP, .813 SLG
- CF Ronnie Jebavy: 7 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, .600 SLG, 13.6 K%
- DH Miguel Gomez: 8 H, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, .737 SLG, 4.8 K%
- 2B Ali Castillo: 8 H, 2 2B, 0 K, .444 AVG
- RHP Reyes Moronta: 2 G, 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
- RHP Tyler Rogers: 3 G, 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 SV
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