Former Wildcat Jones to Join Mariners Organization
Former Davidson baseball player Eric Jones is set to sign a pro contract with the Seattle Mariners organization.
A member of Davidson’s 2019 class, Jones had been playing for the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League. The Charlotte native will report to the Mariners in Arizona on Sunday.
He’s excited for the opportunity.
“It means a lot to me, especially having persevered through the COVID year,” says Jones. “I feel really ready to perform, and I feel like I’m going to do well there. I’m excited for all the people who have supported me along the way.”
Jones played 10 games with Gateway, based in the St. Louis area, while hitting a team-best .308 with two home runs. He spent time playing first base, third base, left field and right field. He’s the first Grizzlies player to join an MLB organization this season.
“I see myself as a true utility man now,” he says. “I feel comfortable everywhere they put me.”
Jones hit .332 in his Davidson career and finished among the program’s career leaders in hits (247, 3rd), extra base hits (86, 4th), total bases (387, 4th), RBIs (142, 8th) and home runs (31, 9th). In 2018, he drove in 60 runs, which ranks third on the Davidson single-season list, and earned Atlantic 10 All-Conference honors. He was a two-time Atlantic 10 Championship Team selection (2017, 2019) and a sophomore infield starter on the 2017 NCAA Super Regional team.
As a senior, Jones led the Wildcats with a .351 average, 71 hits, 17 doubles and 42 runs scored, while also hitting nine home runs, and he led the team in on-base (.432) and slugging (.579) percentages. He was a two-time team MVP and helped the Wildcats win 125 games, the program’s best four-year total.
After graduating, Jones played for the Utica Unicorns of the United Shore Professional Baseball League in Michigan, before concluding the 2019 summer in the Gulf Coast League with the Minnesota Twins organization as an undrafted free agent. The Twins told him upon release last year that he was a “COVID baseball casualty” and encouraged him to keep working through the uncertainty of 2020.
Jones returned to Charlotte and found a significant group of pro ballplayers who, like him, needed to make the most of the long year without games.
“I basically offered to catch everyone’s bullpen I could,” he says. “I made a bunch of friends and took a lot of live at-bats.”
That offseason work, combined with a hot start this year and a favorable workout in front of an area scout, is what Jones believes made this next opportunity possible.
“I’m just excited,” he says. “I know I can hit and know they are going to see that.”