Thomas Jones bat

Laurens’ Thomas Jones has seen his current baseball season end before it really started.

Jones, a graduate of Laurens District High School, just completed his third full season after being selected in the third round of the MLB draft out of high school. He played the 2019 season in Clinton, IA, a single-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins.

Jones reported to spring training in the Marlins organization in March but all of that was cut short due to COVID-19.

Earlier this week Major League Baseball announced that there will be no minor league baseball season as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. MLB put its season on hold in March, the day after a National Basketball Association player tested positive.

As MLB prepares for a 60-game season, each team had to select a 60-man player pool to choose its 35-man roster from for their July 23 or 24 opening day. After two weeks, the number of players will be cut to 30 and after two more weeks, it will be down to 26.

Jones was optimistic that he may be selected for the Miami Marlins 60-man roster but said he was not disappointed that he was not chosen. “It just means I still got some stuff to improve,” he said.

Jones said he had no idea that there would not be a season but one bright spot is that he is being paid during the hiatus. Some teams have agreed to pay their minor league players even without a season, the Marlins being one of those teams. They will be paying players through August, which is when a typical minor league season ends. 

During this downtime, Jones has been working out at Fluor Field in Greenville with other professional baseball players from the area. He has not decided on what he will be doing during his “extended” off-season but going to Florida to train is an option he is considering.