Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 110 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Tyler James Jones is a 6’3″, 200 lb. right-handed reliever out of Hays, Kansas. Hays can boast two major leaguers through their history, Willard Schmidt and Otto Denning, and they would for-sure like to recognize a third. Jones could do that if he continues to pitch the way he did in 2018 for the Miami Marlins system. Follow Jones on Twitter @TyJones_3.
Jones was born on December 7th, 1995, and was one of the older players in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2018. The Miami Marlins chose him in the 26th round of the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft out of Wichita State University.
In three seasons of Division I baseball for the Shockers, Jones went 3-5 with a 6.83 ERA while striking out 96 in 85 2/3 innings. This statline came with a daunting 1.83 WHIP. In his final season, it was a much more platable 1.19.
Jones was chosen with the 777th overall selection. Only four of 49 players selected from that position have made the majors, and Jones would like to make that five. The small group is led by Jim Henderson (2003, Montreal Expos, 1.2 career WAR) and John Sipin (1965, St. Louis Cardinals, 0.3 WAR).
Jones signed with the Miami Marlins for a $1,000 bonus, and joined the GCL Marlins on June 27th. In Jones first appearance, on June 30th, he pitched a perfect seventh inning, striking out the side in an 8-1 loss to the GCL Cardinals. On July 10th, in a 6-5 loss to the Cardinals, Jones pitched the final 1 2/3 innings, allowing no baserunners and striking out three. On August 19th, in a 7-6 loss to the Cardinals (Jones did, in fact, play other teams), Jones struck out three in two near-perfect innings, walking one.
In seven of Jones 12 appearances for the short-season outfit, he did not allow any hits. He only walked three batters in 68 plate appearances. Opponents slashed .159/.191/.222, collecting a total of 10 hits off him. Jones was 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA and a 0.722 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched. Advanced metrics suggest that Jones was slightly better even than his statline seems to be saying, with a 1.87 xFIP and a 1.38 actual FIP. Jones struck out 8.33 batters per walk.
The Miami Marlins expect Jones to continue to put up good metrics, and will promote him through the system accordingly. Going by his 2018 numbers, he should start with the Clinton LumberKings in the single-A Midwest League, although that team is already pretty stacked. They may, through necessity, start him with the short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League or the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League. Jones’ best case scenario would see him break camp with the Miami Marlins in 2022.
The GCL Marlins didn’t break any records, posting a 25-31 record and finishing third in the East Division, 15 games behind the division winning Cardinals.
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