Mitch Jones
Baseball Player
Inducted in 2006

Mitch Jones was an outstanding baseball player at Utah Valley State in the 1997 and 1998 seasons. He finished his career as the most prolific home run hitter in UVSC history, cranking out 41 homers in his two seasons with the Wolverines. Jones played during UVSC's NJCAA era, and left holding a host of single and two-year career records. He set the UVSC single-season record with 23 homers in 1998, and the single game record with three dingers against North Idaho on May 9, 1997.

He held the career grand slam record with three, and held UVSC records for the most career at bats (368), runs (120), and bases on balls (68). He set a UVSC record with eight consecutive hits in 1997. He was second in career doubles (31), second in career slugging percentage (.777), and fourth in career hits (126). Jones had 10 multiple homer games and was a career .345 hitter. He earned All-Conference, All-Region, and NJCAA All-America recognition.

Jones came to UVSC after an outstanding high school career. He lettered in football and baseball at nearby Mountain View High in Orem, Utah. He captained the baseball team and earned All Region and All State recognition. His senior year he hit .560 with 10 home runs.

Jones continued his dominance on the diamond after leaving UVSC. He played his final two years of collegiate baseball at Arizona State. He set a single-season record for ASU with 27 homers in 2000, and led the nation in that category. He also set an ASU record with 49 extra-base hits that year, and wound up with the best career slugging percentage in ASU history (.731). He was a consensus first-team All-American, and was drafted in the seventh round by the New York Yankees.

Mitch's sister, Ericka, was a softball pitcher for UVSC in 2004 and 2005. Mitch is married to the former Tavi Hawkins of Kanab, Utah.

Professional Baseball Career

New York Yankees -- Jones played in the Yankees' minor league system for six years, becoming a four-time All-Star. With the Yankee organization, he won home run titles four times. He began by taking the crown in the short-season New York Penn League in 2000 with 11 long balls. He hit 21 homers in 2001 to win the Florida State League title, 23 to win the Eastern League title in 2003, and 39 more to claim the Eastern League title again in 2004. He made it to the Triple A level in 2005 with the Yankee affiliate Columbus Clippers, where he batted .268 with 27 home runs and 79 RBIs. In April 2005, he hit for the cycle. He won the 2005 Triple-A Home Run Derby. Jones won home-run derbies at All-Star games at the A, AA, and AAA levels.

Los Angeles Dodgers -- Jones was signed to a minor league contract by the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the start of the 2007 season and spent several months playing for the Las Vegas 51s in the Dodgers minor league system. In June 2007, he was sold by the Dodgers to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan's Pacific League. He returned to the Dodgers organization in 2008 and once more played for AAA Las Vegas. In 2009 he was assigned to the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes to begin the season. On June 16, the Dodgers purchased his contract and called him up to the Major League team. He made his major league debut that night, appearing as a pinch hitter in a game against the Oakland Athletics. He struck out in his first at-bat. The next night he got his first major league hit off A's reliever Brad Ziegler. Two nights later on June 19, he got his first major league start against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as the designated hitter. Jones appeared in 8 games with the Dodgers, primarily as a pinch hitter. He went 4 for 13, finishing with a batting average of .308 before he was designated for assignment on July 1 and returned to the Isotopes on July 6. In September 2009, Jones was named the winner of the Joe Bauman Home Run Award, for the most home runs -- 35 -- in all of Minor League Baseball.

Atlanta Braves -- On December 17, 2009, Jones signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves.

Pittsburgh Pirates -- On July 30, 2010, Jones was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations. He played for the Pirates AAA team, the Indianapolis Indians.

In 2010, after 11 seasons in the minor leagues and one partial year in the Big Leagues, Jones retired from professional baseball.

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