The Pirates have agreed to terms with second-round pick Jared Jones, Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was among those to report. Financial details of the deal aren’t known yet, but Jones’ pick, No. 44, comes with a recommended slot value of $1,689,500. The Pirates are fifth in the majors in available bonus pool space at $11,154,500.
The high school right-hander from California had a fallback in the University of Texas – to which he committed before the draft – had he been unable to reach an agreement with the team that picked him. Jones will instead continue his development as a pro after a dominant run as a high school pitcher and hitter. The 18-year-old logged a 0.89 ERA with 255 strikeouts and 78 walks in 180 1/3 innings, and he slashed .394/.473/.566 at the plate, according to Gorman.
Prior to the draft, Jones came in 41st at Baseball America, 51st in the rankings of ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, 55th at MLB.com, 85th in the rankings of Keith Law of The Athletic, and 91st at FanGraphs. Despite his prowess as a two-way player, MLB.com writes that Jones’ “future is definitely on the mound,” as he owns a repertoire that consists of a high-90s fastball with a promising slider and changeup.