After impressive spring, Jared Jones breaks Pirates camp on Opening Day roster

The 22-year-old right-hander pitched didn't allow an earned run in 16.1 innings pitched this spring.
Pittsburgh Pirates v Minnesota Twins
Pittsburgh Pirates v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

One of the major talking points of spring training for the Pittsburgh Pirates has been 22-year-old right-handed pitching prospect Jared Jones. Coming into the season, it was expected that the Pirates' #3 prospect (according to MLB Pipeline) would compete for a spot in the rotation but likely start the season in the minor leagues. 

Jones, however, did not give the Pirates much of a choice when it came to deciding their rotation for the beginning of the season. Across six training appearances, including three starts, the second-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft pitched 16.1 innings without allowing an earned run. He allowed just three unearned runs as well this spring. 

After his impressive spring, Jones was officially named to the organization's Opening Day roster. He joins Mitch Keller, Martin Perez, Marco Gonzales, and Luis Ortiz in the rotation while beating out the likes of Bailey Falter, Roansy Contreras, Quinn Priester, and Josh Fleming for the final spot in the rotation. 

If the Pirates rotation does in fact fall in line of Keller, Perez, Gonzales, Ortiz, and Jones, the California native would likely make his Major League debut on Monday, April 1 on the road against the Washington Nationals.

Across three minor league seasons within the Pirates organization, Jones collected a 13-22 record while posting a 4.31 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 315 innings pitched. The power righty has always been able to rack up strikeouts with 391 in his career.

While most power pitchers tend to deal with control issues, Jones has been able to work on his own over the last few years, seeing his walks per nine drop from 4.6 to 3.7 and eventually to 3.6 this past season. This spring, he walked eight in his 16.1 innings pitched. 

The Pirates will finish out their spring on Monday with a matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays before making the trip from Bradenton to Miami as they prepare for their season opener on Thursday against the Miami Marlins as part of a four-game series.