Robert Joseph Jones (born February 10, 1970) is a former right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. His career spanned from 1993 through 2002. He pitched for two teams, the New York Mets, and the San Diego Padres. He attended the same high school as another notable Mets pitcher, Tom Seaver.
|Born: February 10, 1970|
|August 14, 1993, for the New York Mets|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 2, 2002, for the San Diego Padres|
|Earned run average||4.36|
|Career highlights and awards|
Jones was selected by the Mets with the 36th pick in the 1st round of the 1991 amateur draft. He was a compensatory pick the Mets received when Darryl Strawberry left the team as a free agent. He made his major league debut on August 14, 1993 against the Philadelphia Phillies, where he picked up a win, allowing one run over six innings.
1997 was a breakout year for Jones. He raced out to an early 10-2 record by June, and appeared in his first and only All-Star Game. He pitched the 8th inning for the National League, and highlighted his effort with strikeouts of Ken Griffey, Jr and Mark McGwire. Although Jones fizzled out in the second half of the season, his 15 wins stood as his career best.
By 1999, however, Jones ended up being the odd man out in a crowded rotation. After missing much of the season with injuries, posting only 12 starts, Jones was left off the Mets' postseason roster. More indignity faced Jones as he was sent down to the minor leagues following a poor start in the 2000 season. However, Jones returned to the Mets in late June, and although his 5.06 ERA was his worst for any season in which he started more than 25 games, he was included as the 4th starter on the Mets' postseason roster.
Selected to start the 4th and potentially clinching game of the National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants, Jones delivered the finest outing of his career. Masterfully mixing his 85 MPH fastball and 65 MPH curveball, Jones kept the Giants' potent lineup thoroughly baffled all afternoon. Jones retired the Giants in order in 8 out of 9 innings, allowing only a 5th-inning double to Jeff Kent. His one-hit shutout clinched the series and sent the Mets on to the National League Championship Series. It also set a Mets' record for fewest hits allowed in a post-season complete game, besting Jon Matlack's two-hitter in the 1973 NLCS, and was the fewest hits allowed in a League Division Series complete game until Roy Halladay's no-hitter in 2010.
Jones went on to make starts in both the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals and in the World Series against the New York Yankees. However, Mets management allowed him to leave via free agency following the 2000 season, and he signed with the San Diego Padres, where he posted two marginal years before retiring following the 2002 season.
Jones posted double figures in wins each season from 1994 through 1997. He currently stands 9th on the Mets all-time list with 74 wins.
Jones and his wife, Kristi, have three children, Breyton, Shaylee and Avery and currently reside in Clovis, California. He briefly worked as an interim Assistant Coach for the Fresno State Bulldogs in 2006.
Jones and a partner have created their own barbecue sauce, called Sloppy Jon’s. He frequently cooks for local fundraisers. He is also a wine collector and has made different wines with his friends.
The New York Mets are a Major League Baseball franchise based in New York City. They play in the National League East division. Since the institution of Major League Baseball's Rule 4 Draft, the Mets have selected 61 players in its first round. Officially known as the "First-Year Player Draft", the Rule 4 Draft is Major League Baseball's primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs to its teams. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, and the team that had the worst record receives the first pick. In addition, teams that lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded compensatory or supplementary picks. The First-Year Player Draft is unrelated to the 1961 expansion draft in which the Mets initially filled their roster.
Of the 62 players picked in the first round by the Mets, 25 have been pitchers, the most of any position; 18 of these were right-handed, while 7 were left-handed. 17 of the players picked in the initial round were outfielders, while eight shortstops, six catchers, and three third basemen were selected. The team also selected two players at first base and one at second base. 14 of the players came from high schools or universities in the state of California, while Florida and Texas follow, with nine and five players, respectively.Four Mets' first-round picks have won championships with the franchise. No first-round picks were on the 1969 championship team. Outfielders Lee Mazzilli (1973) and Darryl Strawberry (1980), shortstop Wally Backman (1977), and pitcher Dwight Gooden (1982) played in the 1986 World Series for the Mets' second championship team. Three first-round draft picks have gone on to win the Rookie of the Year Award with the Mets: Jon Matlack in 1972, Strawberry in 1983, and Gooden in 1984. Gooden went on to win the Cy Young Award in 1985, his second season, after placing second in the voting his rookie year. Gooden is also the only first-round draft pick of the Mets to make the All-Star team in his rookie season.The Mets have made 11 selections in the supplemental round of the draft. They have also made the first overall selection five times (1966, 1968, 1980, 1984, and 1994), tied for the most such picks with the San Diego Padres. The first of these picks, Steve Chilcott (1966), is one of only two first overall picks (along with Brien Taylor) to never play in the major leagues. The Mets have had 18 compensatory picks since the institution of the First-Year Player Draft in 1965. These additional picks are provided when a team loses a particularly valuable free agent in the prior off-season, or, more recently, if a team fails to sign a draft pick from the previous year. One player, George Ambrow (1970), did not sign with the Mets after he was drafted but they received no compensation pick.
1991 College Baseball All-America Team consensus selections