The Pittsburgh Pirates have chosen high school pitcher, Jared Jones with their first pick in the second round.
Last night the Pittsburgh Pirates selected talented young middle infielder Nick Gonzalez with their first pick in the draft and 7th overall and then selecting Carmen Mlodzinksi with their next first-round pick and 31st overall. The Pirates started the day off with the 44th pick of the day, selecting Californa right-hander Jared Jones.
The Pirates picking Jones with the 44th overall pick in the draft is a bit of a surprise. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 55th best prospect in baseball with Fangraphs placing him at 91. Regardless, that doesn’t mean Jones isn’t a talented, young pitcher.
Jones has a three-pitch mix. His repertoire consists of a fastball, curveball, and change-up. His fastball sits in the mid-to-upper ’90s, averaging out to 96-97 MPH. MLB Pipeline describes the pitch to have some tail on it, giving a pitch he can throw for some heat some movement as well. It’s his best pitch with a 60 grade per MLB Pipeline. According to Perfect Game, it has some riding life up in the zone, and some sinking action lower in the zone.
MLB Pipeline says Jones’ next best pitch is his slider. They grade it out at 55, which still is above average. Overall, it’s a hard slider he can throw in the low-80’s. It’s a pitch he can get swings and misses on, and could be a solid knock-out type pitch. Jones can add and subtract from his slider, making it more effective. His change-up, although his weakest pitch, still grades out at average with a 50 grade per MLB Pipeline. Jones usually throws his change for about 85-88 MPH.
Jared Jones not only was considered a decent pitcher but also could handle the bat. He has the potential to be a two-way player. Jones has an average exit velocity of 97 MPH, and his max barrel speed was 79.5 MPH. This once again shows Cherington targetting athletes.
One of the concerns that come with Jared Jones is his control. Currently, MLB Pipeline gives his control a grade of just 40. He can get a bit wild at times, but MLB Pipeline states it’s not a large concern as many prep pitchers struggle with control.
With the 44th overall pick, this is the first High School pitcher, and player, in general, the Pirates have selected so far in the 2020 draft. Stay tuned for more coverage as the Pirates have the 79th pick and 138th pick in the draft.