Splitsville: Justin Jones v1.1
Jones should be in New Britain in 2006.
Jones should be in New Britain in 2006.

Posted Nov 26, 2005


"Splitsville" is a series of articles on the Minnesota Twins’ prospects that we'll be doing throughout their minor league careers. In version one/chapter one (v1.1) of Justin Jones, we'll look how he's doing on the road, what situations he is more comfortable in, and more as a member of the Fort Myers Miracle.

Take Me Away: Jones excelled on the road this past season, winning five of his seven starts. During those seven starts, Jones posted a 2.47 ERA, and held opponents to a .236 batting average. In 43.2 innings of work, Jones allowed only 37 base hits, and gave up only three home runs.

This is a good sign for a young pitcher. Although he posted pretty decent numbers at home, going 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA, success on the road is what separates everyday prospects from elite ones. He capped his season winning two straight road games, allowing only two earned runs in the process.

Left Out: Lefties had absolutely no luck against Jones in 2005. The 6’4’’ left-hander baffled lefties all season long, finishing with a 0.96 ERA against them. In 18.2 innings of work, he allowed only two earned runs, and did not allow a single home run.

As a lefty, he has a significant advantage over left-handed hitters. In the future, he could be used as a lefty stop guy coming out of the bullpen, unless he begins to handle righties with the same regularity as he does the lefties.

Empty Nest: With the bases empty, Jones is pretty much lights out. He faced 184 batters in this situation, and posted a 0.92 ERA. He also was able to strike out 31 batters, and got 51 to bounce into groundouts. It is no wonder that opposing teams had a hard time getting to Jones early, and often.

This is a great quality to have, because the pitcher does not put any added pressure on themselves. A starting pitcher can work much easier when there is no one on base, because he is able to concentrate on the batter more attentively. Judging by his 5.17 ERA with runners on, it is easy to see this is the case for Jones.

No Stretch: Jones struggles when he has to go into the stretch, as batters are hitting .285 against him with runners on. In 38.1 innings of work in this situation, Jones has a 5.17 ERA, and has allowed eight extra-base hits.

This is by far the area that Jones needs to work on the most. He is a top pitching prospect within the organization, and once he gains the confidence and ability to get people out with runners on, he is going to be pretty much unhittable. At 21-years old, he has more than enough time to improve this aspect of his game


Related Stories
2005 Fort Myers Pitching Prospect Review
 -by TwinCitiesDugout.com  Dec 14, 2005
Twins Lock Up Six Prospects
 -by TwinCitiesDugout.com  Feb 10, 2006
Jones Named Twins' Minor League Player of the Week
 -by TwinCitiesDugout.com  Sep 6, 2005

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