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Pirates Prospects Scouting Notes: Jared Jones

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Jared Jones is going to be fun to watch.

The 2020 second round pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates made his pro debut last year, striking out 103 batters in 66 innings of work in Low-A, with an upper-90s fastball and a plus slider.

On Monday at Pirate City, Jones pitched with the Low-A team against the Braves, throwing three innings. Below is a video of his warmup, and the first inning of work, along with a report on Jones.

The Delivery: Jones brings the glove over his head, then goes into a classic Nolan Ryan style high leg kick, giving the batter a brief look at the ball as he separates it from his glove, before hiding it behind his body, then ripping it from a three-quarters arm slot with maximum effort for what could be described as a smooth, but very intense delivery.

The Stuff: Coaches dodging behind fences far from the outer edges of the batter’s boxes. Catchers lunging for the occasional pitch that Jones lets rip. “Get this kid some control before he kills somebody” was the line that went through my head after the first two pitches in the video. Jones settled down and was firing 98-100 MPH fastballs, with a big breaking slider that Jones uses to get right-handers to chase outside. The fastball also tends to run away from right-handers, setting up two pitches moving in the same direction, at much different speeds, and ending up with a high/low effect. Between being terrified of the occasional slip, and having to time up against a high upper-90s fastballs running away, or adjust against a slower breaking slider low, batters have very little chance of making solid contact consistently against Jones.

The Extras: Jones is an athlete, formerly a two-way player. He moved well covering first base on a grounder, showing some nice speed to make the play. He also showed a lot of intensity with some of the two-strike counts, even grunting on some deliveries. Maximum effort.

Analysis: Jones has the makings to be a dangerous pitcher, and I’m not making a Major League joke about the control. His fastball/slider combo almost guarantees a cup of coffee in the majors one day, and could lead to an easy bullpen role at the least. His ability to start depends on his ability to limit the control issues. Throwing a wild pitch or missing a few on the outside isn’t bad if you’re consistently able to battle back. As Jones moves up beyond A-ball, he will face more experienced and patient hitters who will not wave at some of those fastballs that are running out of the zone. If he can control the movement of those pitches, or establish a reliable weapon on the inner half of the plate to mix things up, then Jones could end up a starter in the majors with top of the rotation stuff.

2022 Expectation: Jones pitched for Low-A today, which is where he pitched 66 innings last year. I could see him starting the season there, and moving to High-A Greensboro in the first half of the season.

Electric Jared Jones Ahead Of The Curve In Debut Season

THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS

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Pirates Prospects Scouting Notes: Jared Jones

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The Pirates Could Have a Temporary Logjam of Catching Prospects in High-A to Start 2022

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Cal Mitchell Responded to Double-A Challenge In 2021

Prospect Notes: Greensboro Grasshoppers, Blake Sabol, Jason Delay

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Tim Williams
Tim Williams
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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