STARKVILLE — Mississippi State junior right-hander Devin Jones became the fifth member of the 2011 NCAA Super Regional baseball team to sign a professional baseball contract Friday when he signed with the Baltimore Orioles.
The Eupora native, who was selected in the ninth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, will begin his professional career at the Orioles” training camp in Sarasota, Fla. He likely will be assigned later to the Aberdeen (Md.) Ironbirds in the Class A New York-Penn League.
Jones was 2-5 with a 4.37 earned run average in 19 appearances (59 2/3 innings) this season. He closed his career in impressive fashion with three innings of shutout relief work against the top-ranked University of Florida in the championship game of the Gainesville Super Regional.
Two other Diamond Dogs selected in this month”s draft, seniors Nick Vickerson (Texas Rangers) and Jarrod Parks (Los Angeles Angels), have begun their professional baseball careers, while shortstop Jonathan Ogden and catcher Wes Thigpen also have launched their pro careers after signing free agent contracts with the Detroit Tigers.
Senior outfielder Jaron Shepherd, a 33rd-round selection of the Colorado Rockies, hasn”t completed a contract agreement with the Rockies.
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