Pittsburgh Pirates: Potential Next Big Pitching Prospect

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates have a ton of young pitching prospects, but could Jared Jones be their next big prospect?

This past offseason, we saw the 2019 first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates, pitcher Quinn Priester, skyrocket through prospect rankings. He went from a borderline top 100 prospect to a consensus top 50 prospect in just a single offseason.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have a handful of other arms who could quickly rise the ranks similar to the way Priester did. One of them is 2020 second-round pick Jared Jones. But the question I want to ask is could this young right-hander become the team’s next big pitching prospect?

Well if his professional debut was an indication of anything, then he has everything you’d want from a young pitching prospect. He tossed 3 innings, striking out 6 and only giving up 3 base runners (2 hits, one walk).

His fastball has always been a deadly weapon, and he was showing it off on Tuesday evening. He was hovering around 97-99 MPH during his first game. That’s obviously a pretty notable feat for a guy who’s not even 20 yet. He was also displaying a strong slider, curveball and a solid changeup.

The La Mirada High School product was lauded for his strong pitch arsenal. His four-seam fastball not only had the high heat, but he was also able to put a ton of spin on the offering. His curveball and slider were also well above average in terms of spin rate. Another impressive part about his arsenal is his ability to subtract velocity from his offerings.

While his fastball will be nearing 100 MPH, his curveball will come in the low-80s. Meanwhile, his slider sits in the mid-80’s, and his changeup can touch the 90s. Him having a feel for four different pitches, while also being able to throw them with distinctive speeds, is very promising for the future.

MLB Pipeline grades out three different pitchers. His fastball grades out as a 60-grade offering. Meanwhile, his slider is considered a 55-grade offering. His change-up is another average or better pitch, coming in with a 50-grade. Meanwhile, on FanGraphs, they also see his fastball as a 60-grade pitch but also see his slider as a second 60-grade offering. However, they also grade a curveball, an offering that is considered above average (55). His curveball is more of a slurve-like pitch, so that’s the likely reason FanGraphs grades out a fourth pitch.

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Jones struggles with control and command from time to time, but he only walked a single batter in 3 innings, which is promising. Jones has the makings to be a top-tier pitching prospect. He has four strong offerings and control issues for such a young pitcher, especially for one who throws so hard isn’t uncommon. If he can show some improved control this summer, you’re looking at a potential top-tier pitching prospect.

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