Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Three Recent High School Draft Picks to Watch

Bishop Eustace/s Anthony Solometo delivers a pitch during the Diamond Classic final between Bishop Eustace and Williamstown. played in Alcyon Park in Pitman on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Bishop Eustace defeated Williamstown, 8-1.High School Baseball Diamond Classic Final 4
Bishop Eustace/s Anthony Solometo delivers a pitch during the Diamond Classic final between Bishop Eustace and Williamstown. played in Alcyon Park in Pitman on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Bishop Eustace defeated Williamstown, 8-1.High School Baseball Diamond Classic Final 4 /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 20: A New Era pillbox Pittsburgh Pirates baseball hat is seen in the dugout during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park on July 20, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Jared Jones

One last arm I think will fly up the system is Jared Jones, the second-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2020. Jones has immense talent. He can touch triple digits with his fastball even though he just turned 20 on August 6th. Despite a very unlucky .398 batting average on balls in play through his first 55.1 professional innings, he has a very solid 3.69 FIP, 3.54 xFIP, and his ERA isn’t awful either at 4.23 (not saying that’s great but once you consider that he’s had a BABIP around .400, it’s pretty good). He’s gotten plenty of strikeouts with a 35.1% rate and has kept home runs down to a 0.81 HR/9 rate. It’s a bit odd that he has such a high BAbip considering that he’s gotten ground balls at a 43% clip and his 21.1% line drive rate isn’t awful either. Though walks have come at a 10.8% mark.

His fastball has elite velocity and plus spin (2550 RPM). FanGraphs already sees it as a 60-grade pitch. His slider is another pitch with 60-grade potential per Fangraphs. His curveball? Another plus offering (55-projected). His changeup is a work in progress but has average potential.

His command has gotten in the way more than once. But he’s only 20-years-old. It’s not uncommon for such a young arm who throws so hard to have spotty control. He probably won’t be in the majors for another 2 years at the very least. That’s more than enough time to work on refining his command and control. That may also improve the effectiveness of his offerings.

Next. Bucs Drop Game One in Chicago. dark

Jones is having a good year despite getting unlucky. The hard-throwing right-hander is a very high-ceiling prospect. He has the raw talent to become one of the Bucs’ best prospects. He needs more refinement, but I believe he can reach that potential. His stuff is good enough that he doesn’t need Greg Maddux-like command to be successful.

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