The Pirates Prospects 2014 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features prospect reports on everyone in the system, the 2014 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find. While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks. Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site.
To recap the countdown so far:
We continue the countdown with the number 19 prospect, JaCoby Jones.
19. JaCoby Jones, OF
Jones was one of the more interesting picks by the Pirates on day two of the 2013 draft. He was listed as a second baseman, third baseman, and an outfielder by different outlets in pre-draft rankings. The Pirates drafted him as a center fielder. However, they had him getting time in at shortstop while he was with Jamestown, spending five games at short and ten games in center field.
Shortstop wasn’t a total surprise, since that was listed as a possibility for him. He’s a high upside draft pick with a ton of speed and athleticism, giving him options to play anywhere on the field. The Pirates definitely don’t need him in the outfield, since they have a lot of options there throughout the system. They are thin on infielders, especially shortstops and third basemen.
One downside with Jones this year was that he injured his knee after just 15 games, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. In his very limited time with Jamestown, he put up impressive numbers across the board. Jones should move up to either West Virginia or Bradenton, despite missing time with the injury. The big concern is whether there is any lasting impact to the knee injury, and whether it could impact his speed.
Jones has a ton of tools, although one knock against him is that scouts question his attitude and makeup off the field. This was reported before he was drafted by the Pirates, and it was something that we independently heard as well after the draft.
There are a lot of different options all over the field for Jones to play. His most valuable position, if he can stick there, would be shortstop. It seems more likely that he could stick at second base if he stays in the infield. His best position is center field, which would put him up against tough competition inside the system. The position he ends up playing will partially be determined by how well he can return from his knee injury, and whether there are any lasting effects.