EAST LANSING, Mich. â€“ Michigan State red-shirt junior second baseman Ryan Jones was selected in the 13th round (No. 418 overall) of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.
Jones becomes the highest drafted second baseman in the history of the program since the inception of the MLB First-Year Player Draft in 1965 (previous high: Cordell Ross, 18th round, 1984).
The only Spartan second baseman in school history to earn All-Big Ten honors three times (second team in 2010; first team in 2011; second team in 2012), Jones already ranks among MSUâ€™s all-time leaders in doubles (second with 46), hits (third with 240) and runs (sixth with 147).
The Haslett, Mich., native owns a career batting average of .358 and has five homers and 104 RBIs to go along with his .431 on-base percentage. He has started 163 career games at second base.
â€œItâ€™s a dream come true,â€ said Jones on when he found out he was drafted by the Giants. â€œWhen I saw my name pop up it was something special, and something that I will remember forever. Iâ€™m just happy for the opportunity.
â€œI didnâ€™t really have a picture of how it was going to go down, so I just had a clear mind, and whatever happened, happened. I was with my buddies and went golfing in the morning. I was just laying low, it was a nice day so I was just hanging out, and it took my mind off it. It was a good day.
â€œIâ€™ll find out what the offer is and talk it over with my family and advisor. Thatâ€™s when Iâ€™ll find out (if Iâ€™m going). If I do start playing pro ball, I would like to get an early start. If something doesnâ€™t work out and I go back to college, then Iâ€™ll stay with that.â€
â€œRyan is a leadoff-type of hitter who is going to put the ball in play,â€ said Michigan State head coach Jake Boss. â€œHe gets a lot of base hits, especially in the middle of the field. He also has an outstanding glove at second base. Ryan plays the game hard and the right way.â€
As a junior this season, Jones collected a Big Ten-best 92 hits, which ranks third most in an MSU single-season and currently ranks 16th in the nation. He also finished among the Big Ten leaders in eight different offensive categories, including at-bats (first with a school-record 261), runs (third with 52), total bases (fourth with 123), doubles (fifth with 16), walks (sixth with 35), batting (ninth at .352), on-base percentage (ninth at .422) and triples (tied for 10th with three).
Jones tied for the team lead with 18 two-out RBIs and 10 multiple RBI games, and ranked second with 25 multi-hit games. He hit .378 (31-for-82) in the seventh inning or later.
An excellent defensive player, Jones ranked second in the Big Ten with a school-record 188 assists.
Last season, Jones became the first Spartan to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors at second base in 36 years as he hit .344 and led the team with a .442 on-base percentage. During his All-Big Ten campaign as a sophomore, Jones collected a school-record 33-game hitting streak from March 6 to May 8. It tied for the longest hitting streak in the nation in 2011.
Last summer, Jones was named to the Cape Cod League All-Star Team while playing for the Brewster Whitecaps. He finished 17th in the CCL with a .283 average during the 44-game regular season, and had a hit and a run in the CCL All-Star Game at Fenway Park on July 29.
In 2010, Jones was the first Spartan to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was also a second-team all-conference selection after he hit a career-high .380 with 12 doubles, four triples, one homer and 37 RBIs.