Chuckie Jones wasn’t expecting to hear his name called when it was during the Major League Baseball draft.
The senior centerfielder from Boonville High School was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the seventh round of the draft as the 228th pick Tuesday.
Jones said he spent all day Monday glued to his laptop watching the first round, thinking, “That could be me tomorrow.”
The next day he received a phone call from his adviser who told him the St. Louis Cardinals were interested in Jones for their next pick.
But before they could make that selection, Jones heard his name called by San Francisco, one pick ahead of St. Louis.
“I just started jumping up and down immediately,” Jones recalled. “It took me a minute to realize it was the Giants who called my name rather than the Cardinals.”
Jones said the draft is something he’s been dreaming about his entire life, but when the moment finally came, it was still unbelievable.
“It’s just the best feeling in the world,” Jones said. “It’s taken a while for everything to settle in and it is a bit overwhelming, but I’m still really excited.”
Jones had originally signed a letter of intent to play baseball this fall at Maple Woods Community College, and while he hasn’t thrown those plans out completely, he said he’s keeping his options open.
“I’m going to sit down with my adviser and talk about what the best decision would be,” he said. “If it’s pro ball, then great. If not, that’s all right too, and I’ll still play at Maple Woods.”
Boonville coach Tim Edwards said he and Jones both knew for the past couple years that being drafted was a possibility.
“Chuckie was first looked at by the MLB his sophomore year, and by his junior year it became pretty apparent he was draft material. When his senior year finally rolled around, it was a given but we just didn’t know where he’d go,” Edwards said.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 235-pound player had an impressive finish to his career at Boonville. This last season he lead the Pirates (20-5) to an appearance in the Class 3 state tournament and batted .525 with 46 each RBI and runs scored. He also had 10 home runs.
“Chuckie is an incredible physical talent. He has all the tools to play baseball at the highest level. He has great strength, speed and agility, and can hit for average or for power,” Edwards said.
Furthermore, Jones was recently named the 2010 Gatorade Missouri Baseball Player of the Year, an award based on superior athletic performance as well as high academic success and a display of exceptional character.
Jones is the highest draft pick and the first player to receive the Gatorade honor to come out of Boonville.
“I’m very excited for him and his family. He put in a lot of hard work not only in baseball, but he’s also grown up to be a fine young man,” Edwards said. “He’s doing what he wants to do and living his dream. He deserves it.”