Let's get one thing straight, before we go off on this: JaCoby Jones forgoing a $1m+ payoff to skip college and pursue his higher education is an admirable, nay, downright impressive choice. He stared down a life-changing amount of money from the Astros to play baseball, and said, "No, thanks." That's pretty impressive. That said, he may have screwed up.
Because it seems like things are going to change by the time he's eligible again in 2013. Nationals President Stan Kasten said this about the current version of the MLB June Draft:
"I'm confident it will only be in place one more year. Because it is just silly, to think the industry operates this way. There's no reason for it. And the worst part? The worst part is we've now institutionalized taking young talent at their prime development age, and now we say, 'Go sit on the shelf for this season.' That's the worst thing of all. It doesn't help the talent. It doesn't help the teams. If nothing else, that law needs to be fixed."
This is in reference to the late deadline, but there was this at the bottom:
According to The Washington Post, there is a belief that the next collective bargaining agreement -- which will take effect in 2012 -- will include new rules concerning the draft. Baseball is said to favor a system similar to the NBA's, where a slotting system is in place for draft picks.
It's reasonable to assume that JaCoby Jones was offered approximately $1.5m. This year's #15 draft pick - the Rangers' Jake Skole - signed for $1.557 million. Let's just say, for giggles, that MLB implements a hard-slotting system, and freezes picks at their current signing bonus. This would mean that, in 2013, JaCoby Jones would need to be a Top-15 pick. That's a big gamble. Because if he's not, he will likely not be getting money close to that amount.
We do beg your pardon if this is somewhat obvious - but it seems like a fairly short-sighted move. Unless JaCoby Jones just really wanted to go to college and, for once, it's not about the money. Then he should be applauded.