Prep Baseball Report

Boras Classic South: Tuesday Notebook

Shooter Hunt
National Crosschecker

The first day at the prestigious Boras Classic in Southern California was filled with drama. Close games, upsets, and top shelf talent were all on display, but it was a young 2020 prospect who may have stolen the show, and put his name firmly in the national discussion.

2020 RHP/OF Jared Jones (La Mirada HS, CA) showed off a live arm at last year’s event, but as he stepped to the mound in the third game of the day at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, he had the look of a man on a mission. He threw multiple fastballs at a blazing 95 mph in the first inning before settling in at 91-94. The 6-foot-1, 178-pounder has an electric arm, and the fastball explodes through the zone with intent. His release is aggressive, but he shows the ability to repeat his high ¾ slot, even when varying his deliveries (which he did often). Though his command of the pitch lacked, at times, he showed control of it in the strike zone, and forced plenty of early contact to batters who were cheating to his velocity. He relied primarily on his breaking ball as his secondary offering, and showed some feel for manipulating its shape. Mostly thrown with fastball hand speed at 79-82, the pitch worked best when he did not rush, and allowed his hand to really get through the ball. Perhaps the best two breaking pitches that he threw came to the final hitter of the game after he had come down to 87-91. Jones went 78 mph, taking a bit off which allowed the slider to play true with tight spin and tilt before doubling down with an 84 mph offering for a strikeout. Moving forward the highly athletic right-hander has cemented himself as one of the top arms in the 2020 class, and could challenge for the top spot before finishing out his senior year. The progression of his slider will ultimately dictate how high he climbs.

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