Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Meet a Prospect: Tyler Jones

The New York Yankees, like they do every season, have been adding a ton of depth to their minor league system from outside the organization. The team has been adding high upside players who have struggled in recent seasons, Vinnie Pestano, players who fill a specific role, Donovan Solano and Jonathan Diaz, and players who could merely fill in depth spots at Triple-A just in case. The latter belongs to the newest member of the organization and a former member of the Minnesota Twins organization, Tyler Jones.

This is Meet a Prospect: The Tyler Jones Edition. Tyler Jones is a right-handed starting pitcher that was born in September of 1989. The Minnesota Twins drafted Jones out of LSU in the 11th round of the 2011 MLB First Year Players Draft as a starting pitcher before switching him to the relief role full time in 2013.

Jones was a mediocre starting pitcher at best and posted a 4.67 ERA in his first professional season in 2012. After Jones switched to the relief role in 2013 he struck out 66 batters in just 52 innings while holding opposing batters to just a .196 batting average. Jones was promoted to High-A Ball before the 2013 season and he repeated that stop in 2014 where he continued to strike out players at a high rate. The biggest issue with Jones though, and this began to show its head once again in 2014, was the lack of control and command for Jones.

Jones brings a mid-90's MPH fastball to the Yankees and a sharp slider that is devastating to right-handed hitters. Left-handed hitters have done well against Jones in his professional career and that may be his fast-track to the Major Leagues. Jones cannot walk nearly four batters per nine innings if he wants to make the major leagues with the Yankees and he will have to continue to strike out batters more like the 11.4 K/9 ratio he had in 2013 and not the 9.4 K/9 he had in 2014.

Jones is the underdog here and I always root for the underdog. I'm rooting for you Tyler, make us proud and welcome to the family.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)