Chad Jones Drafted by Cincinnati Reds - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Chad Jones Drafted by Cincinnati Reds

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Chad Jones may not be done yet. The former LSU two-sport star battling a severely injured left leg was drafted as a left-handed pitcher in the ninth-round by the Cincinnati Reds in Friday's Major League Baseball draft.

Chad Jones tried hard to come back from serious injuries sustained shortly after he was drafted by the Giants in the third round of the 2010 draft, but he put an end to those efforts earlier this year.

When Jones gave up his football pursuit, he said that he planned to revive his baseball career. That's off to a good start, as Jones was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the ninth round of the Major League Baseball draft on Friday.

Jones was a left-handed pitcher and outfielder for LSU when they won the College World Series in 2009 and was drafted twice by big league teams while he was in high school and college, but chose football as his main focus while at Baton Rouge.

Jones is only a pitcher now and threw for scouts last month with the hopes of getting selected in this year's draft. The Reds obviously liked what they saw enough to give Jones a shot at making one of the unlikeliest comebacks in memory

 

Jones, the 285th player selected overall, nearly lost his leg in an horrific single-car accident in May of 2010, weeks after being picked by the New York Giants as a defensive back in the third round of the NFL Draft. Since that time he has undergone extensive rehabilitation for the severely broken leg, which also had injuries to the muscle, nerves and the vascular system. He was eventually released by the Giants.

In December, Jones had a workout scheduled with the New Orleans Saints but changed direction and participated in an open baseball tryout in front of representatives of eight Major League Baseball teams last month.

"The workouts were good," Jones said. "I threw about 35-40 pitches and my fastball was in between 88-91 (Miles per hour). My breaking ball was there and I showed the changeup.

"As far as baseball, my body is physically 100 percent. I feel real good. I told the teams I feel like I could play in the field again, but pitching is what I'm focused on."

Jones said he talked to General Manager Walt Jocketty and will report to Arizona so the Reds can get "a fresh set of eyes on me" to evaluate him for minor-league assignment.

"Another milestone," said Jones' father, Al. "We kind of expected it. He had some good feedback from his workout. They didn't make any commitment but they didn't say no, either."

Jones is one of two LSU players to play on the Tigers' 2007 BCS National Champion football team and the 2009 LSU College World Series champion baseball team, along with wide receiver outfielder Jared Mitchell.

It's the third time Jones has been drafted in baseball. He was chosen in the 13th round by the Houston Astros after making All State as a pitcher/outfielder at Southern Lab in Baton Rouge. He was also picked in the 50th round of the 2010 draft by Milwaukee shortly after the accident but the Brewers rights to him have expired.

As a football player from 2007-09, he played in 40 games with 19 starts. He made nine pitching appearances in 2009 for the baseball team and posted a 2.70 earned run average in 6 2/3 innings, including two scoreless relief efforts in the College World Series.

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