Pittsburgh Pirates: Examining How 2020 Draft Picks Are Performing

Mar 1, 2021; Sarasota, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates Nick Gonzales (81) poses during media day at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: MLB Photos via USA Today Sports
Mar 1, 2021; Sarasota, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates Nick Gonzales (81) poses during media day at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: MLB Photos via USA Today Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
BRADENTON, FLORIDA – MARCH 22: A detail of the 2021 MLB Grapefruit league logo during a spring training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles on March 22, 2021 at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Jared Jones

The Pittsburgh Pirates second-round pick was Jared Jones, a flame throwing right-hander from La Mirada High School. Coming into the draft, Jones was seen as a pitcher with a big fastball. He averages out in the 96-97 MPH range while also carrying a slider with two different speeds and a change-up.

So far, Jones has put up pretty decent numbers Low-A Bradenton. While his 4.50 ERA or 1.50 WHIP in 30 innings isn’t all that pretty, he has a 3.41 FIP and 3.12 xFIP. Jones has struck out 37% of all the batters he has faced. Walks have been a bit high with a 9.6% walk rate, but he’s kept home runs to just a 0.9 HR/9 pace. Plus, he has gotten unlucky so far this season. Opponents have an insanely high .439 batting average on balls in play vs him.

However, Jones needs to work on getting the ball on the ground more. Currently, he has induced ground balls at a 36.8% rate. He’s been giving up line drives nearly a quarter of the time with a 24.6% line drive rate. He’s also gotten opposing players to hit a fly ball 38.6% of the time.

Being just 19-years-old and still refining his talent, Jones will likely spend most, if not the rest of the 2021 season at Bradenton. He’ll turn 20 in early August, but the Pittsburgh Pirates have no reason to rush a high school-aged prospect through their system.

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