FanGraphs: 50 Current, 60 Future
MLB Pipeline: 55
This one was a bit tougher as there wasn’t a clear player out in front like before. Both Jared Jones and Brennan Malone have well above average sliders. MLB Pipeline see’s Malone’s slider as a 60 while FanGraphs has it as a 55-future grade, while Jones has opposite grades. Ultimately, I chose Jones as I weighed FanGraphs’s ratings a bit more.
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Jones with their second-round pick in 2020. He was a high school pick and was taken out of La Mirada High School. The team selected him with the 44th overall pick in the draft.
According to MLB Pipeline’s write-up on Jones the best version of his slider sits in the 80-82 MPH range and has harder break. He also misses a fair amount of bats with the pitch. Jones also works with a fastball that sits around 96-97 MPH. This is seen as a 60-grade offering by MLB Pipeline and FanGraphs. He’ll also throw in a changeup, which has the potential to be a third average or better offering.
Jones is still young as this upcoming season will be his age 19 season. He’ll turn 20 in early August. Right now, both FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline rank him as the team’s 17th best prospect. However given his potential, he could rise and be one of the team’s top 10-12 prospects before the end of the season.