The rare West Virginia Power highlights continue for at least one more day. Today’s best is JaCoby Jones with a first inning solo homer. He drove in two runs in the game and finished with three hits, missing the cycle by a triple. Jones has six homers this year, 12 stolen bases and a .776 OPS. In April he hit for a higher average, batting over .300, while the average has dipped to .240 in May, but the OPS in nearly identical thanks to five homers this month. He’s showing signs on being the breakout player they hoped, though there are still some flaws, specifically defense and strikeouts. Jones leads the Power with 13 errors and 53 strikeouts. Some of the defensive issues are due to playing shortstop everyday, when some believed he would be a second baseman or outfielder. The strikeouts are still high though, especially considering that Jones is a 22-year-old from a major college program that is playing in low-A ball. The hope is that the positives outweigh the negatives and because he is a toolsy, gifted athlete, that is definitely a possibility down the line.
The second highlight from today is the final strikeout by Vance Worley in his 10 strikeouts performance. You get to see the entire at-bat, which also includes a very nice catch from the bullpen catcher in the middle of warm-ups. Worley went eight innings in the 5-2 win over Buffalo. He has pitched a total of 33 innings in five starts, going at least six frames in each game. While he isn’t really a prospect, you could say that there is the prospect of him helping the Pittsburgh Pirates at some point this season.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.