Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: The Rule 5 Draft and 5 Possible Targets

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Jun 20, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; A view of a Minnesota Twins hat and glove in the dug out during the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Jones, 24 years old, AA, RHP, Twins

Any time your fastball is rated as 75 on the scouting 20-80 scale, you’ve got something to work with. Rated as the 23rd best Twins prospect by MLB.com, Jones has a great arm and tremendous fastball that moves despite being reported to reach the upper 90s. That makes it very hard to square up and explains the low hit rate. Unfortunately, it also explains the high walk rate, as he has a very hard time knowing where it’s going to end up.

The biggest issue I see with him is whether a team like the Jays can see him developing the secondary pitching he needs to make that fastball more effective.

An encouraging sign from Jones is that over his last 10 games in AA, he managed to tone down the walks (7) while continuing to pile on the strike outs (24) in 15.2 innings of work and limiting hits (11). That allowed him to maintain a 2.87 ERA over that span.

Another thing I like is that he’s closer tested, having saved 33 games in the minors in 41 save opportunities. That doesn’t mean I see him closing for the Jays in 2016 by any means, but it does indicate that he can handle pressure-packed situations, something he’d be exposed to if he does make it to The Show in 2016.

Here’s a short video of Jones pitching:

Next: Why not add more competition to the number 5 job?

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