UPDATE, 5:34: The deal was announced, and Jones said he was eager to get started on his career. He will report to Hudson Valley in the short-season NY-Penn League, and will play shortstop this summer, with the potential to be moved to centerfield at a later time. ... Two cute stories about him - His first youth league team in the Cary, N.C., area was the Devil Rays. He wore jersey No. 22. The Rays took him last week ... with the 22nd pick. Also, his first big-league game he saw was at the Trop, he was in the area visiting family in 2004.
DEVELOPING: The Rays have signed top pick Greg Jones for a slot value due of $3,027,000, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.
The signing of the shortstop from North Carolina-Wilmington is expected to be announced later today at the Trop, and Jones will be here.
The Rays took him with the No. 22 overall pick in the June 3-5 draft.
Jones is known for his speed among other tools. After drafting him the Rays said they expect him to be an impact player in the middle of the field, whether staying at short or transitioning to centerfield.
“He’s a top-of-the-scale runner,” scouting director Rob Metzler said after the draft. “Greg Jones is an excellent athlete, he’s a middle-of-the-diamond player. He’s somebody we think has a really good chance to contribute on both sides defensively and offensively. We’re really excited to have him.''
The Rays announced today they have signed 15 other picks:
RH Nathan Wiles (eighth round), C Jonathan Embry (10th round), SS Nick Sogard (12th round), CF Zach Huffins (13th round), CF Logan Allen (14th round), 2B Brett Wisely (15th round), LH Joe LaSorsa (18th round), RH Jayden Murray (23rd round), CF Garrett Hiott (25th round), RF Hill Alexander (28th round), LH Carter Bach (34th round), RH Mitchell Walters (35th round), SS Angelo Armenta (38th round), RH Andrew Gross (39th round) and C Luis Trevino (40th round). The signing deadline is Friday, July 12 at 5 p.m. ET.