According to Jim Callis, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed second round pick Jared Jones for a $2.2 M bonus. The 18-year-old right-handed pitcher out of California had a commitment to Texas. He’s the fourth draft pick signed by the Pirates, leaving 31st overall pick Carmen Mlodzinski and third round pick Nick Garcia as the final two unsigned picks.

Jones has a fastball that will get into the upper 90s, to go along with an above average slider, giving him a strong two-pitch mix. He’s an elite athlete, who did well as an outfielder in high school. He also throws a lot of strikes and improved his command of pitches. His changeup is a clear third pitch that needs work, while he doesn’t have a big frame, plus there’s some effort to the delivery, so you could be talking about a power reliever if the starter role doesn’t work out. Jones turns 19 next month. Here’s his draft day article, which includes a video.

Jones received $510,500 over slot, with that many coming from the savings on the fourth and fifth round picks. Our draft tracker has been updated.

UPDATE: Jim Callis sends word that the Pirates signed right-handed pitcher Carmen Mlodzinski for $2.05 M. That is $262,000 under slot for the 31st overall pick. Mlodzinski can get his fastball up to 98 MPH (some say 99), and shows consistent 94-96 MPH velocity as a starter. The pitch has a lot of life as well. His breaking ball was once a curve, but now is more of a slider/cutter combo, at times looking like two different pitches. It’s an effective pitch that he uses to get outs. His changeup is also above average at times. He’s a strike-thrower, who gets a lot of contact on the ground. He turned 21 years old earlier this year.

The draft tracker has been updated again. Third round pick Nick Garcia is the lone unsigned pick.

UPDATE 7:55 PM EST: The Pirates have officially announced the signings of Jones and Mlodzinski, while also announcing the signing of third round pick Nick Garcia. Jim Callis has the bonus.

The Pirates have also announced the signing of non-drafted free agent catcher Joe Jimenez, who played for Chapman University. Jimenez threw out 17-of-68 runners and hit .302 with two homers in 2019. He was teammates with Garcia. The Pirates note that he majored in finance and data analytics. – TW

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