Druw Jones Sees Brighter Days Ahead With D-backs

In mid January, Druw Jones hit for the first time since having left shoulder surgery last year. It went well enough that he can finally see the light at the end of the rehab tunnel.

“I’m not in any rush or anything like that,” Jones said, “but the season is going to start, and I think I’m going to be ready.”

This is encouraging news for Arizona, which drafted Jones second overall last year only to see him extend what has been a bizarre trend of highly rated prospects to suffer significant shoulder injuries.

Jones, a center fielder drafted out of high school in suburban Atlanta, suffered a posterior labral tear while taking batting practice at Salt River Fields just three days after signing.

In May 2021, outfielder Corbin Carroll suffered tears in his labrum and posterior capsule on a swing with High-A Hillsboro. A few months later, shortstop Jordan Lawlar hurt his shoulder, tearing his posterior labrum. Both players needed season-ending surgery.

Not only was Lawlar’s injury most similar to that of Jones, but his recovery timeline has turned out to be similar, farm director Josh Barfield said. Lawlar had surgery in late August 2021 and was ready to start the year on time.

Barfield said the D-backs’ training staff has become well-versed on what to expect in this particular rehab process.

“If there’s little aches and pains that come up through the process, they how to handle those things,” Barfield said. “With all those guys, all three of them are really good workers. If anything, you have to slow them down.”

Barfield was more cautious about Jones’ timetable, saying starting the season on time is a “possibility,” adding that if not, Jones likely would be ready “just shortly after.”

“He’s swinging now, hitting in the cage off the tee and going through that progression,” Barfield said. “He looks great. He looks really, really good. We’re all excited to see that.

“The plan is get him into spring training games on the minor league side sometime (in March).”

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