"Daryl Jones is a young guy who played the whole year at 17 years old and had some success. He has some power potential and actually uses the whole field when he hits and that is always a plus."
Jones began the year with hits in eight of his first ten games, including a seven game hitting streak that saw him go 13-for-33. When his season was 21 games old, Jones just completed his second seven game hitting streak of the season.
In 36 games, Jones did not go more than two games without a base hit. That happened just once during the year and the time it happened he did not register an at bat in the second game, registering a walk.
"He ended the year with a sprained ankle so he missed out on probably 50 at bats at the end of the year," Waller noted.
Jones, a recipient of $375K to sign with the Friars, was the last of three high school picks taken by the Padres with their first three picks in the 2004 draft. He had originally signed on to play for Cal State-Fullerton after a successful high school career at Westchester High in Los Angeles, but the deal from the Padres was too sweet.
A former member of MLB's youth program, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities* (RBI), Jones is seen as a power hitting first baseman.
He was voted as one of the top five players with the best raw power coming out of high school by former Baseball America reporter and newest Padres scout Josh Boyd. His 6-foot-4, 210 frame, is kind of scary since he will only get bigger and stronger.
"He comes from somewhat of a raw program so he has a lot of baseball to learn," Waller said. "He is a guy we invited to Instructional League so we can continue his development for this year."
While Jones was a terror when he hit the ball, he still is not patient at the plate. He began the year with three straight games with walks and managed just four in his next 32 games. He also struck out 38 times and managed to go three games without a whiff twice on the year – his longest stretch of the season.
He showed solid defense at first for a first time out. Working with a young infield that is prone to make mistakes, his five errors are a blessing.
"He just needs games and the more games we give him, he can get in situations where he can really understand how the game should be played. I think this guy is going to be a special player – I really do just because the way he handles himself and his approach to the game."
Denis Savage can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org