This Is Rutherford
MLB Draft and RHS Graduate Breyln Jones
By Jennifer Ersalesi
RHS graduate, Breyln Jones, has worked hard and played hard to achieve a goal many young people dream of accomplishing one day. Breyln was drafted to the Major League Baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. As both a pitcher and shortstop, Breyln impressed many with his amazingly strong arm and pitching technique. He was recognized as a New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Conference All-Star in the Colonial Division this past year for maintaining a GPA of no less than 3.0 and for demonstrating outstanding school and community citizenship. Rutherford High School Varsity Baseball coach, Carmen Spina, told This is Rutherford, “Brelyn is one of the best players I’ve coached in past 22 years. He has tremendous baseball instincts and it is evident that he has grown up around the game. We wish him the best of luck in the Dodger organization and hope that one day he can come back to RHS and tell the players how he was in their shoes and made it to the big leagues !” This is Rutherford interviewed Breyln to learn more about his success throughout his high school baseball career and his plans now that he has been drafted to the Major Leagues.
TIR: When did you learn you were being drafted to the MLB?
Breyln Jones: I learned that I was being drafted after school on the third day of school when Coach Carmen Spina called me while I was asleep. He was screaming into the phone saying, “You got drafted.” That was definitely the best news I’ve ever woken up too.
TIR: Your Dad, Bobby Jones, was also a MLB player. He was drafted to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1991 and also played for the New York Mets and San Diego Padres. Was he a big influence on your baseball career?
BJ: He, for sure, was a big influence considering all the experience he has. He definitely helped me become the player I am today and without him, I might not be getting to do what I am doing now.
TIR: When did you know you wanted to pursue pitching?
BJ: I realized when I could do something with pitching after I saw the velocity jump in my fastball from junior year to senior year from about 85-90 mph. I started to feel like I could do something with pitching. Then when high school came around I was consistently in the low 90s for the most part and that’s when I started to get noticed by some teams.
TIR: How did you develop your skills as a pitcher?
BJ: A lot of bullpen sessions. Many long toss sessions to build velocity. Every time I threw especially when I knew I was probably gonna pitch I tried to work on all my pitches even when just playing catch.
TIR: Which other Rutherford sports were you involved in while living in Rutherford?
BJ: I played for RJF in middle school and then I played basketball through middle school and into high school.
TIR: Your Dad Bobby Jones played Rutherford Little League, did you also play?
BJ: I played Little League for two seasons. We had pretty good teams the years I played. Coach Mike Gaffney was my coach. I played All -Stars for 2 years and we won back to back district championships.
TIR: Who have been your mentors on this journey so far?
BJ: Well first off, my dad. Coach Albarella, my coach from Northern Highlands High School, was a big part of my success. He was one of the first to believe in me and it was huge of him to put me at shortstop as a freshman with a team that was 14/16 seniors. That was a huge confidence booster for me and I’m glad he did because I was able to be a part of a state championship team. Coach Spina has also been a wonderful mentor to me.
TIR: What happens for you next not that you have been drafted?
BJ: Well now that I’m drafted, I’m currently in Arizona for rookie ball at the Dodgers spring training facility. I am here for about 2 months. I am playing in a summer league out here against the other MLB teams in Arizona.
TIR: Any advice you can give to current ballplayers?
BJ: Just believe in your game. Go out there on the field and compete. Don’t be scared of any opponent and give it your all. Work hard and trust what you can do on the field. Perfect the little things in your game; that will help you a lot when you are in pressured situations because it will all be natural and all you have left to do is go out have fun and play.