Pittsburgh Pirates: Jared Jones Dazzles in Pro Debut, Roansy Contreras Struggles

Photo Credit: Southern California News Group

 The Pittsburgh Pirates went pitcher heavy in the 2020 draft, with five of six picks going to the position. Another common theme was that they went college heavy, with second round pick Jared Jones being the lone prep player selected by the Pirates.

Jones, still just 19-years old, made his professional debut on Tuesday night and was able to shine on a day where most eyes were looking at a different pitcher in the system.

Throwing three innings, Jones struck out six batters while walking just one and allowing two hits, helping the Bradenton Marauders to victory.

The La Miranda High School star started things with a blaze throw a first pitch fastball for a strike that was clocked at 99 MPH. He threw two more fastballs that clocked in at 98 and 99 MPH, respectively, before breaking in a slider for a called strike three.

He was just getting started.

Jones generated ten swing and misses, six by ways of a fastball, the rest by way of a breaking ball. Three of his six strikeouts were from swinging strikes, the other three looking. Two of those strikeouts he got looking were from his secondary offerings.

Showing a willingness to throw his breaking pitches in any situation, he was able to keep batters off balance. Jones threw eight that were called for strikes and showed a willingness to throw them early in the count as his outing.

A couple of at bats really stuck out for me, especially when you factor in his age and his experience.

Jones starts the at bat with back-to-back curveballs, but is able to use both sides of the plate, getting a called strike on the second pitch. He then speeds things up with a challenge fastball that he gets a swing and a miss on. While the location on the last pitch is less than ideal he is able to get the out with a swinging strike.

In the first video, Jones uses both sides of the plate to set up his strikeout, but in this one he goes up and down to change the hitter's eye level.

Jones basically goes high/low, and then high/low in order to get the strikeout. He gets strike one on a high fastball when the hitter fouls off the pitch, which is followed by a breaking ball in the dirt. To wrap up the at bat, he gets back-to-back swings and misses using the same formula as the first two pitches.

To say that the Pirates have pitching depth in their organization may be an understatement. Jones started the season as their 17th ranked prospect, according to MLB.com, ahead of some notable pitchers like Roansy Contreras, Braxton Ashcraft, and Max Kranick. 

Jones showed why he was ranked where he was at in a deep Pirates system, and he's only going to get better.

Contreras Struggles In Curve Loss

For the first time this season, Contreras looked human, allowing the first runs of the season while he has been on the mound. He got off to a strong start, striking out two in his first inning of work before surrounding five runs over his next couple of frames.

His day was over after just four innings, allowing four hits, five runs, three walks while striking out six batters.

There was a lot of talk of whether or not the Pirates should move Contreras up to Triple-A, and today showed there should be absolutely no rush when it comes to their 20-year old pitcher that they acquired in the Jameson Taillon trade.

Quinn Priester Puts in Another Scoreless Outing

After a rough start to the season, the Pirates 2019 first round pick has rattled off back-to-back victories by posting a pair of shutout outing. Priester pitched five scoreless frames on Tuesday, striking out three while walking just one.

He has just seven strikeouts over his last two starts (ten innings), and while you'd like that number to be a little higher Priester is heading in the right direction.

Alexander Mojica hit a bomb for the Marauders Tuesday, his third of the season. If the minor leagues are all about projection, the the 18-year old Mojica is going to be one of the funnest players to follow over the next couple of seasons.

MLB.com currently gives his power a grade of a 50, but you just feel like that should be higher and potentially could be forced to be revisited at some point this year.

Follow me on Twitter, @AJ_Murfy and @SportBlogMurphy and make sure to subscribe to the site at the link above.


Popular posts from this blog

A Hero Emerges in Greensboro

Pittsburgh Pirates: A Potential Hidden Gem in the FCL

The Taiwanese Terror: Po-Yu Chen