LIU Brooklyn's Tyler Jones Signs Minor League Free Agent Contract with Seattle Mariners
Brooklyn, NY -- Recent LIU Brooklyn alum and former baseball standout Tyler Jones was signed to a minor league free-agent contract by the Seattle Mariners organization, it was announced on Friday. Jones, the 2011 LIU Brooklyn Male Student-Athlete of the Year, was a two-time First Team All-Northeast Conference selection for the Blackbirds during his four-year career.
"I thought my baseball career was over," Jones said upon learning he had been offered a contract by the Mariners. "I had just packed up my gear about a week ago. These opportunities don't come up very often but the time away [after the LIU season] has restored my passion for the game. I can't wait to get out to Arizona and play the game I love, and I will be forever grateful to the Seattle Mariners organization."
Jones, who will begin his professional career with the Peoria Mariners in the Arizona Rookie League, started all 55 games for the Blackbirds in 2012, batting .312 to rank second on the team and rank 13th in the NEC. The catcher's four triples were third in the league, while his 62 hits and six home runs ranked eighth. Jones' 98 total bases put him in fifth in the league and his .423 on-base percentage ranked fourth.
"I am thrilled for Tyler," LIU head baseball coach Don Maines said. "He worked so hard and put everything he had into his game the last few years for him to be rewarded is awesome! I have no doubt that Tyler's best has yet come."
The Stewartsville, N.J., native had a breakout junior campaign for LIU, being named First Team All-NEC and a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher. Jones was a American Baseball Coaches Association All-Region First Team selection after batting a league-best .425 with 71 hits and 36 RBIs. Jones finished his career with a .335 average and registered a new school record with 226 hits.
"Tyler deserved this opportunity and we are thankful that the Seattle Mariners believe in him as a player and afforded him this opportunity," assistant coach Craig Noto said. "When Tom MacNamara (Scouting Director) and Brian Nichols (Area Scout) called today, we were ecstatic for Tyler. Tyler made significant contributions to the LIU program and I am personally thankful and proud to say he was a Blackbird. I wish him the best of luck as his professional career begins."
Jones is the second former LIU baseball player to join the Seattle Mariners organization following their collegiate baseball career, as James Jones was drafted in the fourth round by the team in 2009. James Jones currently plays for the Class A Advanced High Desert Mavericks and is hitting .301 with 12 home runs and 61 RBIs this year.