Five Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects People Have Forgotten About

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RHP Jared Jones

Going into the season, Jared Jones was considered one of the organization's higher-end pitching prospects. With an extremely high ceiling and a solid season at Bradenton, Jones was trending upward at the end of 2021. Of course, there was Quinn Priester and Roansy Contreras, but Jones was arguably their third or fourth-best hurler. But with Luis Ortiz's emergence and Bubba Chandler and Anthony Solometo flashing a ton of potential at Bradenton last season, Jones has not been given the same amount of love this past year.

But the 2022 season was not kind to Jones. In 122.2 innings at Greensboro, Jones owned a 4.62 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and 1.35 WHIP. There were some positives as Jones cut his walk rate down below 10% to 9.6% while having a solid 26.7% strikeout rate. However, his HR/9 sat at 1.39, and his ground ball rate had decreased from 43.5% to just 38.7%.

There's no way to put that Jones had a good season, but in the context of Greensboro and the rest of the league, Jones didn't pitch terribly. The league average ERA was 4.48, and the league average WHIP was 1.38. In most settings, a mid-4.00 ERA and 1.35+ WHIP is bad, but in the context of the South Atlantic League, it would be average. 

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There is still a lot to like about Jared Jones. He still runs it up into the high-90s, and he still has a great slider, above-average curveball, and solid changeup. He is still only 21 years old with an improving walk rate, and he still has one of the highest ceilings among Pirate pitching prospects. I'd keep an eye on Jones next season, as he's arguably the Pirates' biggest breakout prospect candidate that's already played a decent amount.

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