Starfires catcher using summer play to prepare for his next chapter

JD Jones is using this summer in western Massachusetts to prepare for his next chapter. (Sponsored by Westfield Starfires)
Published: Jul. 5, 2023 at 12:58 PM EDT
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WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - JD Jones, a catcher for the Westfield Starfires from the University of Miami, is using this summer in western Massachusetts to prepare for his next chapter.

“It was obviously very intense. It’s a very high-level program,” Jones explained.

For the last two years, Jones has called South Florida home while playing baseball at the University of Miami. The Hurricanes have four national championships and 48 NCAA tournament appearances in program history. It’s no easy task playing at such a high level.

“We work harder than probably any other program out there and I take that work ethic here. I want to be the guy that’s always here first and doing the most work out of anybody,” Jones added.

This summer, he’s suiting up at catcher for the Starfires.

“It’s been great. The team has been really accepting and it’s a really good group of guys,” Jones noted.

The Colorado native told Western Mass News that he’s looking to carry his work ethic with him from the 305 to the 413.

“Coaches have been studying my swing and asking me a lot of different questions, what we do at Miami, so I think they’re learning a lot about me so that they can help me in the future,” Jones said.

After his time in Westfield, Jones will transfer from Miami to Rutgers University in New Jersey.

“My degree is really important to me, so I wanted to go somewhere that has a great academic program and a good business school and also somewhere that I can go and play really well that has great competition,” Jones said.

Against Futures League competition, Jones is hitting .323 at the plate and recorded his first three-hit performance on Friday night, but his approach with the Starfires is defense first.

“This summer, the thing I want to work on the most is relationships with pitchers, trying to be a presence behind the plate, being a leader on the team,” Jones explained.

While his one day off a week is usually spent training, he’ll enjoy the sights and sounds of western Massachusetts before it’s back to school.

“My host family took me to Six Flags yesterday and that was pretty fun. I enjoyed that. I’m a big amusement park guy,” Jones said.

Segment sponsored by the Westfield Starfires.