Pirates Top 30 Prospect Trend Report

9-7-21 – By Justin Verno – @JV_PITT on Twitter

Another week is in the books and some guys looked great while one big time prospect officially has me worried. Could Tahnaj Thomas be seeing his FV number drop? I think it’s likely at this point. Let’s get to it.

1-Henry Davis – 50 FV      Still on IL

BA/OBP/SLOPSISOwOBAwRCwalkK
Week286/353/7141.067.426.42916011.8%35.3%
Season263/375/6841.059.421.42416116.7%33.3%

 2-Quinn Priester – 50 FV ARROW UP X2WEEKS

IPERAFIP  xFIP  WHIPBABIPK%BB
Week60.003.261.1730827.3%13.6%
Season912.673.974.061.1527425.2%8.9%

3 – Roansy Contreras – 50 FV IL

IPERAFIP  xFIP  WHIPBABIPK%BB
Week – (IL)24.507.001.0025037.5%0%
Season482.442.562.83.9227435.6%5.8%

4- Liover Peguero – 50 FV ARROW UP X2 WEEKS

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week455/571/6361.208.182.52622621.4%35.7%
Season272/333/461.794.189.3451127.8%25.5%

5-Miguel Yajure – 50 FV

IPERAFIP  xFIP  WHIPBABIPK%BB
Week – (IL)73.867.081.29.16720%13.3%
Season32.23.584.503.87.1.01.22524.8%7.8%
MLB9.13.865.214.51.86.14323.5%8.8%

6- Oneil Cruz – 50 FV ARROW UP

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week286/304/524.828.238.3431124.3%1.7%
Season290/346/523.870.234.3731327.7%23.4%

7-Tahnaj Thomas – 50 FV  ARROW DOWN

IPERAFIP  xFIP  WHIPBABIPK%BB
Week415.7516.012.25.35713.6%0%
Season60.25.196.475.811.58.28922.1%12.5%

8-Nick Gonzales – 50 FV ARROW UP X2 WEEKS

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week364/440/9551.395.591.55724612%32%
Season303/371/575.946.272.4021488.6%28.2%

9-Travis Swaggerty – 50 FV – Out for the year

10-Bubba Chandler – 45 FV

BA/OPS/SLOPSISOwOBAwRCwalkK
Week375/444/500.944.125.44615711.1%22.2%
Season227/346/409.755.182.35910615.4%30.8%

11-Ji-hwan Bae – 45 FV 

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week188/409/188597.000.4789622.7%22.7%
Season272/356/401.757.129.33810910.6%23.1%

12-Brennan Malone – 45 FV 

IPERAFIP  xFIP  WHIPBABIPK%BB
Week105.191.00.00025%15%
Season- CPX7.17.365.464.461.50.27827.3%15.2%
Week – A3.20.007.619.122.45.33310%25%

13-Hudson Head – 45 FV ARROW UP

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week-250/348/7001.048.450.45116513%26.1%
Season-210/361/394.755.184.36411215.8%31.8%

14-Cody Bolton – 45 FV -out for the season

15-Maikol Escotto – 40+ FV ARROW DOWN

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week-133/235/33.369.000.204155.9%23.5%
Season-239/367/356.723.16.35510615.5%30.9%

16-Anthony Solometo – Nothing Yet

17-Jared Jones – 40+ FV ARROW UP

IPERAFIP  xFIP  WHIPBABIPK%BB
Week503.791.00.30040%5.0%
Season60.13.883.693.451.43.39135.4%10.3%

18-Carmen Mlodzinski – 40+ FV

IPERAFIP  xFIP  WHIPBABIPK%BB
Week2.202.631.87.44423.1%7.7%
Season49.13.284.323.951.22.29830.7%9.3%

19-Canaan Smith-Njigba – 40+ FV IL

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week – (IL)
Season.286/.403/.427.830.14137213216.1%25.8%

20-Lonnie White – 40+ FV

BA/OBP/SLOPSISOwOBAwRCwalkK
Week143/250/571.821.429.35010112.5%37.5%
Season250/294/563.857.313.3771165.9%45.5%

21-Rodolfo Castro – 40+ FV  ARROW DOWN

BA/OBP/SLOPSISOwOBAwRCwalkK
Week000/045/000.045.000.032-924.5%36.4%
Season262/316/467.783.205.3361086.3%20.4%
MLB198/258/395.653.198.282766.5%29.0%

22-Diego Castillo –  40+ FV- ARROW UP

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week400/545/7331.279.33.36722727.3%9.1%
Season – PIT282/342/445.787.164.3431128.3%7.4%
Sason AAA400/545/7331.279.333.52522727.3%9.1%
Season – NYY277/345/504.850.228.3671288.4%13.7%

23-Rodolfo Nolasco – 40+ FV ARROW UP

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week385/579/1.0771.656.692.66728726.3%5.3%
Season276/410/509.918.233.42614516.7%27.1%

24-Jared Oliva – 40+ FV

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week286/375/333.708.o48.3321008.3%33.3%
Season255/328/369.697.115.313888.0%28.7%
MLB175/233/225.458.050.215207%23.3%

25-Endy Rodriguez – 40+ FV ARROW UP X2 WEEKS

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week313/421/8751.296.563.54822410.5%15.8%
Season285/378/492.870.207.40113512.2%18.4%

26-Mason Martin – 40+ FV

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week273/360/318.678.045.318964%32%
Season252/330/507.837.255.3571218.3%34.7%

27-Jose Soriano – 40+ FV – Out for the season

28-Luis Oviedo -40+ FV – MLB

29-Cal Mitchel – 40+ FV  ARROW DOWN

BA/OBP/SLOPS  ISO  wOBAwRCwalkK
Week200/190/300.490.100.205220%14.3%
Season282/330/442.772.161.3361085.4%16.7%

30-Eddy Yean – 40+ FV ARROW UP X2 WEEKS

IPERAFIP  xFIP  WHIPBABIPK%BB
Week44.505.541.00.14337.5%12.5%
Season595.145.284.571.33.25224.9%13.6%

Ten prospects with the arrow pointed up to only four pointing down. That’s what I call a solid week on the farm!

The growth for Priester, Gonzales and Cruz continues to be exceptional. I can see all three getting that 55 FV bump soon.

This leads us to the bad: Tahnaj Thomas. The stuff is reportedly electric, but the results have been more “the lights are out” than they’ve been “lights out,” if you catch my meaning. Now it’s possible they have him working on the “specific” areas of opportunity here, but even so, the growth has been slower than you’d like at his age and level. I imagine he is one prospect we see take a hit in his prospectus; maybe as low as a 40+ or a 45? Hopefully we see a corner turned soon enough.

And now on to the highlighted prospect: Jarred Jones. I was leaning away from using any of the 21-22 draft picks in this section, but it looks like my adoration of Jones’ stuff is too much to contain.

Jones’ spin rates, even in high school, we’re advanced. Jones wasn’t just a two way player in high school–he also played two spots. Due to this, his arm wasn’t abused–which was a common theme in the 2020 draft for Ben Cherington and his staff–so the idea here is that sole focus on pitching could have a high ceiling for Jarred.

In his senior season he touched 99 MPH on his fast ball, so Mr. Cherington could be on to something. But here’s the kicker: he doesn’t need to rely on velo! There’s a saying in baseball, “starters who aren’t fire ballers, you have to spin it to win it!” And Jones can spin it. How advanced is he? Jones has a four pitch mix, a fastball (4 seamer), a slider, curveball and a change up. (work in progress). Let’s look at the MLB spin rates for his best three pitches: fastball, curveball, and slider. The MLB spin rates for those offerings are as follows-

FastballSliderCurveball
MLB best2,5532,6543,046
MLB average2,2262,0902,308

Here’s how Jones stacked up…in high school.

FastballSliderCurveball
Low side2,4002,5002,300
High side2,6002,7002,500

Jarred Jones can spin it. It’s easy to see why I liked the kid coming out of school. An honest question… if I told you there was a high school starter that had these spin rates, a four pitch mix, was young, and had a fastball that could touch 99 MPH and stood 6’4″–and had a perfect game, where do you think he’d get drafted? And here’s our hurdle: he’s 6’2″ , two inches from being a top 10 prospect.

How is his season going? Solid is about as strong as I can say. His peripherals are solid enough, with an xFIP of 3.45 and an ERA of 3.88 are in line. The interesting thing here is the BABIP is .291(pretty high and shows some bad luck). The WHIP is elevated due to a 10.3% walk rate and sits at 1.43, but due to great spin rates and the ability to touch 99 MPH, he’s striking out 35.4% of the hitters he faces. Did I mention the kid can spin it?

What’s next for Jones? He has to know where the pitch is going. Control, control and control. That 10% walk rate needs to come down. Spin is great, but he needs to find the plate. The BABIP at some point has to stabilize especially if he can continue to K at a 30%+ clip. It will be fun to look at the spin rates at the end of the year!

If Jones can funnel the pitches and learn to hit the mitt, he could be special.

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