James Steven Jones
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 4", Weight 200 lb.
- School Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus
- High School Telecommunication Arts Tech High School
- Debut April 18, 2014
Outfielder James Jones has played in the Seattle Mariners minor league system since 2009 and made his big league debut with the team in 2014. He was taken by the club in the 4th round of the 2009 amateur draft and was signed by scout David May. Baseball America named him the 65th-best pick overall and the 30th-best pick out of college that year.
He played for the Everett AquaSox in 2009 and hit .311/.392/.463 with 51 hits in 45 games. In 2010, he hit .269/.356/.432 with 12 home runs, 65 RBI, 87 runs scored, 10 triples and 24 stolen bases in 132 games for the Clinton LumberKings and in 2011, he hit .247/.347/.378 with 16 stolen bases in 83 games for the High Desert Mavericks. With High Desert again in 2012, Jones hit .306/.378/.497 with 109 runs scored, 12 triples, 14 home runs and 26 stolen bases in 126 games. He spent most of 2013 with the Jackson (TN) Generals and hit .275/.347/.419 with 10 triples and 28 stolen bases in 101 games, earning a spot on the Southern League's Mid-Season All-Star team. In 4 games with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers, he hit .333/412/.467.
In 2014, Jones opened the season with Tacoma, but was called up to Seattle to make his debut on April 18th, when he collected an infield single off A.J. Ramos of the Miami Marlins in his only at-bat after entering the game as a defensive replacement. He made a couple more short stays in Tacoma , eventually playing a total of 37 games there and hitting .282, but he spent the bulk of the year with the Mariners. In 108 games, he hit .250 in 312 at-bats. scoring 46 runs and stealing an excellent 27 bases in 28 attempts. He was the team's most-used centerfielder, but they did go out and acquire Austin Jackson from the Detroit Tigers at the trading deadline, and he played regularly at the position the rest of the way. Not helping his cause was the fact he hit only .118 in limited playing time after the All-Star break. Still, it was a promising debut, and he headed to spring training in 2015 hoping to find a job as a back-up outfielder who can contribute with his, bat, his glove and his speed. Alas, it wasn't to be. He played only 28 games in the big leagues that year, hitting only .103. He spent most of the year with Tacoma, where he hit .272 in 72 games while scoring 47 runs and stealing 25 bases. On November 16th, he was traded to the Texas Rangers alongside P Tom Wilhelmsen and a player to be named (Patrick Kivlehan), in return for OF Leonys Martin and P Anthony Bass.
In the middle of his first really disappointing AAA season in 2016, Jones and the Rangers decided to make a change. On August 4th Jones was sent to the AZL Rangers to begin converting to pitcher. However, Jones would show little as a pitcher over the next few years largely due to injury. Jones pitched to a 2.56 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 with the AA Frisco RoughRiders before earning a promotion to AAA, where he was also effective. He was even more productive for the Tigres del Licey of the Dominican Winter League in the offseason, allowing just two earned runs in 12 innings spread between 25 outings.
- Greg Johns: "Jones doing what he can to show he belongs in the Majors", mlb.com, March 19, 2015.