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Diamondbacks Draft Cornell's Jones

Arizona came calling in the fourth round to draft the Big Red right-handed-pitcher.
ITHACA, N.Y. – Right-handed pitcher Brent Jones has become the highest Major League Draft pick from Cornell, with the Arizona Diamondbacks selecting him with the 120th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2014 draft on Friday afternoon.
 
Jones just completed his junior season with the Big Red, earning All-Ivy League Honorable Mention after posting a 2-3 record with a 2.50 earned-run average and 47 strikeouts in nine starts.
 
At the Big Red's Scout Day in Fall 2013, Jones was consistently throwing his fastball 93-95 mph. It topped out at 96 mph that day, and was clocked as high as 97 mph throughout the season. That raw velocity and the ability to maintain that velocity throughout a six- or seven-inning start is one of his biggest strengths.
 
"It seems everyone throws 93 or 94 mph in the Major Leagues now, so you have to throw 95 or 96 to raise an eyebrow," said Bill Walkenbach '98, the Ted Thoren Head Coach of Baseball. "There's a lot of velocity out there right now, but Brent has got a plus-curveball that they really, really like and should play at the next level."
 
The earliest draft pick in program history was previously Chris Schutt, who was selected in the seventh round with the 208th overall pick by the Minnesota Twins in 2003. The last time a Cornellian was selected was in 2011, when the Boston Red Sox nabbed Jadd Schmeltzer in the 49th round — though rising senior Roberto Suppa was selected in the 26th round by the San Diego Padres in the same draft, coming out of high school.
 
"In the Major Leagues, everyone's throwing in the mid- to upper-90s, and Brent Jones is already throwing mid- to upper-90s," said Scott Marsh, who serves as the Big Red's pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. "Usually, pitchers don't peek out on their velocity until they get to their mid- to upper-20s. Also, the ability to spin his breaking pitches – especially his curveball — is always a good thing. Scouts love guys who can spin the ball aggressively, because it's another indication of arm speed and potential increases in velocity to come."

(Cornell Athletics)
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