Centerfield, MLB Seattle Mariners (LIU Brooklyn B.S. ’09)
From the Fall 2014 issue of LIU Magazine
James Jones: Making it Look Easy for the Mariners
By Dan Lobacz
As the starting center fielder for the Seattle Mariners, LIU Brooklyn graduate James Jones (B.S. ’09) is rapidly becoming a fan favorite in the Emerald City.
After Jones accepted a Division I scholarship offer to LIU, professional teams began to take notice of him. Playing in front of Major League Baseball scouts nearly every game, Jones had his best season for LIU Brooklyn in 2009. He hit .364 with nine home runs and 32 runs batted in, recorded 20 stolen bases, and was named LIU’s male Student-Athlete of the Year.
Despite lofty numbers as a hitter, many professional teams saw Jones as a pitching prospect, thanks to a 95-mile-per-hour fastball and smooth delivery. He was drafted as an outfielder by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round of the 2009 Amateur Draft and has proven that choice to be a good one.
After spending five seasons in the minor leagues, Jones finally earned his big break in April 2014 with a promotion to the Mariners. In May, he earned a starting nod and has been etching his name in the record books since. -A 15-game hitting streak over his first 15 starts set a club record that had previously been held by potential Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez. In a game against Houston on June 30, 2014, Jones joined all-time great Ichiro Suzuki as the only other player in Mariners history to record four hits and three stolen bases in the same game. As of Aug. 1, Jones was batting an impressive .251 and had recorded a team-high 17 stolen bases in 18 attempts to rank in the top 10 in the American League.
“He gets better every day, and every day is a new adventure, a new journey for him,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon recently told The Seattle Times. “He’s a very intelligent, bright young man. Very talented. Tremendous athlete. So the combination of all those things—he’s starting to make it look easy.”
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