Jones Determined To Make It Big In Baseball


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Canada Senior Writer

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Jones Determined To Make It Big In Baseball

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Asafa Jones

Class of 2024 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: LHP
  • High School: TNXL Academy
    State: ON
  • Summer Team: Canes Florida
  • Height: 5-10
    Weight: 180lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/L

Statistics

Pitching
81
Max FB
(07/28/21)
78 - 81
FB
(07/28/21)
68 - 69
CB
(07/28/21)
Pitching
Max FB
81
FB
78 - 81
CB
68 - 69
Position
7.20
60-yard
(07/28/21)
87
OF Velo
(07/28/21)
Position
60-yard
7.2
OF Velo
87

Jones Determined To Make It Big In Baseball

TORONTO - The desire for Asafa Jones to excel comes with an impeccable work ethic.

Wake-up time is 4 a.m. An hour later, Jones is at the gym lifting until 8 a.m. School goes from 9-3, with a 1:30 yoga class mixed in. Running takes place from 3-4 p,m, followed by baseball work from 4-5:30.

This takes place … every day.

The 61st-rated sophomore outfielder in North America credits trainer Jesse Karona, who has “taken my body to the next level,” with helping make his dream come closer. 

“I’ve focused a lot on my body,” the 16-year-old explained. “I was strong, but now I’m a lot stronger. It’s about taking care of your body, stretching, and what you eat.”

Reclassified into the 2024 class and now attending Inspire Academy, a private school that focuses heavily on ensuring academics is the goal while also giving access to cages and a state of the art speed training facility, Jones is beginning to get noticed as the lone uncommitted player on the most viewed profiles in Ontario in 2021.

“Nothing major yet,” noted Jones, who pointed to working out with Scott Bullet and Marcus Kenect, former professional ball players with the Cubs and Blue Jays, respectively, with benefitting his game. “I’m looking for a good baseball program where I can grow as a student into a man and as a baseball player.”

The Future Games helped bring interest from schools like Middle Tennessee, Oregon and Niagara while also bringing a lot of motivation.

“The Future Games was a very good eye opener as far as how I carry myself in front of schools. George (Halim) and (Chris) Kemlo showed me how to make myself look like a baseball player,” Jones said in reference to the PBR Directors of Scouting in Canada.

Cam Black-Araujo, lead scout with PBR Canada, came away impressed.

“Jones was one of the most mature, advanced players on our Junior Future Games team this past summer and swung a loud bat throughout the week,” Black-Araujo said. “The left-handed hitter has bat speed and feel for the barrel.

“He plays the outfield well with good reads and is only going to get stronger. He’s an impact player who always seems to leave his mark on a game, one way or another.”

After standing out on the Canadian Junior Future Games team, Jones moved up to play with Team Canada at the prestigious PBR event in Georgia.

“I saw a different level of baseball,” reflected Jones, who went 3-for-3 in his final game. “But I didn’t let it get to me. I just tried to slow it down.”

The experience helped bring insight to his game.

“I learned a lot from it,” Jones noted. “I know what I have to work on. Although I played well, there are things to work on and I’m spending the offseason doing that.

“I’m learning the mental side of baseball, the approach, what to look for and realizing what I’m good at. Not a lot of kids my age have been exposed to that, so I have an advantage over them.”

It has helped Jones overcome a late start in the sport.

“I was a big basketball player, but I was left-handed and my dad figured I wasn’t going to grow enough so he introduced me to baseball,” related Jones, now 5-10 and 180 pounds. “After my first season playing Double-A ball and getting cut and told to go play for the house team, my dad said ‘you just have to fight through it.’ The beginning was rough, but once I got over that I’ve just gotten better and better and better.”

The idea of playing at the next level developed a few years later.

“I can see that I have a good chance of playing college baseball,” Jones said. “Growing up in Canada it’s not really advertised and I was exposed to baseball late, I didn’t start playing it until I was nine. But now I’m at the stage where I'm better than most. It took a long time to get there, but after this past season and being around all these next-level players and them saying that I have a chance to get to the next level, I have a chance.”

Two older brothers, one that played football at Carleton U, have also given advice.

“One thing I learned from them is to never let people see the weaker side of you,” Jones noted. “Always maintain positivity.”

That is just one aspect the 366th-ranked 2024 in North America feels he can bring to a program.

“I’m athletic, I’m strong, I have a good feel for the game with a pretty high IQ and I’m a good teammate,” Jones said. “I’m never negative, always looking at the brighter side to bring the best out of people.”

The left-handed hitting outfielder, whose time in the 60 has improved from 7.2 to 6.9 with all the hard work since the Future Games, looks forward to what lies ahead in 2022.

“I haven’t taken any visits yet, I’m just training and focusing on baseball,” related Jones, who this month will be traveling to Florida to spend time at TNXL near Orlando. “I’ve been hitting a lot and working on how to generate effortless power and make hitting look easy.”

As for a college decision, there is a time frame.

“By the end of the 2022 summer season I want to make a commitment,” Jones concluded.


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