UW Whitewater's Jones Has Second Chance at MLB Draft - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UW Whitewater's Jones Has Second Chance at MLB Draft

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The Warhawk baseball season came to an end in a 7-2 loss on Saturday to St. Thomas in the NCAA regional tournament, and now junior pitcher Austin Jones likely will be drafted once again for the second time in as many summers.

Jones was drafted in the 26th round by the Chicago Cubs last summer, but chose to return to UW Whitewater for his junior season.

"I had been getting some calls, teams had been asking about my sign ability." Jones said. " I knew it was a possibility, but I didn't really think it was going to happen based off of where I was. I barely showed anybody what I could do." 

Jones started his collegiate career as the closer for the Warhawk's national championship team in 2014 his freshman season. His sophomore season was reduced to two appearances and was ended with Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (Tommy John) surgery.

"There was obviously the worry of am I going to get back to where I was." Jones said thinking back on the injury. "You're talking about velocity, getting your stuff back. It's also the fact of you know it's going to be 10, 11, 12 maybe 13 months. That's a long time."

Jones returned in 2016 but only pitched 12.2 innings, but was drafted that summer by the Cubs. Jones knew if he returned in 2017 he could show how well he can actually pitch.

Jones said, "For me, what could 60, 70, 80 innings of me pitching once, twice a week, and these guys coming and seeing me 10, 12, 14 times that kind of thing. I felt like that would put me on a better platform."

Jones finished his junior season with an (8-3) record, a 1.91 earned run average and 85 strikeouts in 85 innings pitched.

The Major League Baseball Draft starts June, 12. 

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