Pittsburgh Pirates Breakout Prospect Candidate: Jared Jones

Jun 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach Oscar Marin (47)
Jun 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach Oscar Marin (47) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Few pitchers in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system have better pure stuff and a higher upside than right-handed pitcher Jared Jones. This makes him a breakout prospect for the Pirate farm system in 2023.

The 2020 MBL Draft was Ben Cherington's first as general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was also a draft unlike any other in MLB history. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, scouting players for the 2020 draft was extremely challenging.

One of the players that Cherington and the Pittsburgh Pirates selected in the 2020 draft was right-handed pitcher Jared Jones. Jones was selected by the Pirates with the 44th overall pick in the draft, and now he is in line for a breakout campaign in 2023.

Jones spent the entirty of the 2022 seaosn with the High-A Greensboro Grasshoppers. In 26 starts, he pitched 122.1 innings posting a 4.62 ERA and a 4.85 FIP. While these numbers are higher than you would like to see, he posted a strong 26.7% strikeout rate. His biggest issues were a 9.6% walk rate and a home run rate of 1.39 HR/9.

With the Grasshoppers, Jones finished the season strong. Control has always been a big question mark for Jones, but in his final six starts of the season his walk rate was just 7.1%. Combine this with a still strong 24.0% strikeout rate, and his ERA in these six starts was just 3.12.

His stuff has never been a question with Jones. He primarily throws a fastball, slider, curveball trio, while also mixing in a changeup. FanGraphs gives his fastball a future value (FV) of 60 while giving both his slider and curveball an FV of 55. MLB Pipeline rates his fastball as a 60 grade pitch, while his slider is a 55-grade pitch and curveball 50.

As for his changeup, like many young pitchers, it continues to develop. FanGraphs gives it an FV of 40 and MLB Pipeline has it as a 50 grade pitch. So, while the pitch still needs improvement, there is clearly potential there.

Jones will turn 22 in August. After logging a complete season with High-A Greensboro in 2022, odds are, Jones will begin the 2023 season with Double-A Altoona. After finishing the 2022 season on a high note and trending upward, Jones could be in line for a breakout campaign this season. It would not be a surprise to see Jones unanimously viewed as one of the top pitching prospects in the Pirate farm system by this time next year.

Jason Mackey Returns to Rum Bunter Radio. dark. Next