The 2022 MLB Draft began on Sunday, July 17, and if you peeked at some of this year’s top prospects, their last names probably looked familiar. Druw Jones (son of Andruw), Jackson Holliday (son of Matt), and Justin Crawford (son of Carl) all took center stage.
For Jones, the hype around his draft stock had been building for a few months, especially throughout his most recent season at Wesleyan School in suburban Atlanta. It appears he’s up for the challenge, and the pressure doesn’t get to him all that much. That should make him well-equipped to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Druw Jones has shown the ability to thrive in the spotlight
Plenty of interesting players were at the top of the prospect depth chart for this year’s draft. Even with that in mind, multiple outlets put Jones in the No. 1 spot. Whether we’re talking about Sporting News, MLB.com, or Prospects Live, they all agree — Jones is the best pure talent on the board.
That’s a lot for a teenager to handle, but Jones has shown that stuff doesn’t really get to him. As he received this attention, he helped Wesleyan win the Class A Private School state championship. The squad posted a 35-5 record, with Jones compiling a 1.702 OPS (including a .570 average) and 13 home runs. It certainly seems like he’s ready for the next level.
As with any amount of attention in today’s world, Jones was the apple of every heckler’s eye whenever he stepped onto a baseball diamond. The above video is a great example of how he lets it roll off his back, as he blasts an absolute tank over the wall while hearing “Overrated!” chants.
Jones’ high school coach, Brian Krehmeyer, summed it up perfectly with this glowing recommendation of the outfielder (h/t MLB.com):
“You talk about the five tools, and he even has the sixth one, which is the mental makeup, the composition of being able to handle the pressure and handle the ups and downs that a baseball season brings with it and still continue to perform day in day out.”
Druw Jones will have big shoes to fill in the pros
Outside of the draft prospects who had fathers play in the big leagues, a bunch of current MLB players grew up while their respective fathers were in the Show. Here are just a handful:
- Cody Bellinger (son of Clay)
- Bo Bichette (son of Dante)
- Cavan Biggio (son of Craig)
- Dee Strange-Gordon (son of Tom)
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (son of Vlad Sr.)
- Ke’Bryan Hayes (son of Charlie)
- Fernando Tatís Jr. (son of Fernando Sr.)
- Bobby Witt Jr. (son of Bobby Sr.)
Among this small sample, there are a couple of Hall of Famers (Craig Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Sr.). While Andruw Jones isn’t a Hall of Famer yet, it could happen within the next few years. The former Braves legend first appeared on the ballot in 2018, getting 7.3% of the vote. His support has grown each year since, with the 2022 results showing him on 41.4% of ballots.
Jones has an intriguing case for eventually getting enshrined at Cooperstown. Not only did he hit 434 home runs with 1,289 RBI across 17 seasons, but he also won 10 Gold Gloves while earning five All-Star Game selections. Regardless of what happens with his dad and the Hall of Fame, Druw Jones has big shoes to fill now that his name was called by the Arizona Diamondbacks at No. 2 overall after Jackson Holliday went to the Baltimore Orioles.
There have been tons of father-son duos in MLB history, but only a small subset of them have performed well enough to be among the greats. Andruw Jones posted 62.7 Baseball Reference WAR (bWAR) throughout his career. Now, the hype and pressure will be on Druw to not only get to the big leagues but to be a contributor so they can join that list.
Where was Druw Jones projected to be selected?
If Jones is the top prospect in the MLB draft, he should have been taken first overall by the Baltimore Orioles, right? Well, not exactly. It depended on the consensus is within the organization. A recent mock draft from Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com had Jones going to Baltimore, but he included some caveats within his explanation.
Those caveats are clarified and backed up within a mock draft from CBS Sports, which projected the Orioles to select Termarr Johnson with the top pick.
Here’s what Baltimore’s general manager, Mike Elias, had to say about the organization’s preference on how to use that top selection as of last month (quote via MLB.com):
“I’m being very frank about it that the short list that we have that’s five players long. I feel like we’re going to carry that for the next week up until the draft day, because we don’t expect there’s going to be a broad consensus in every corner of the organization of who to take … I don’t think we’re going to really get much closer to narrowing things until the day of the draft.”
Even within that mock from CBS Sports, Jones didn’t have to wait long to get selected. He was accurately projected to get picked by the Arizona Diamondbacks second overall.
Once the event officially kicked off, Jones’ dream of becoming a professional baseball player came true quickly. But as any pro ballplayer can attest to, getting drafted isn’t the end. It’s the start of this journey.
Regarding Druw Jones, it’ll be just another step on the path his father paved for him many years ago.