By Jerry Del Priore
The New York Mets have purchased the contract of hard throwing righty Zack Jones from the independent American Association of Baseball St. Paul Saints, the league announced today, adding depth to New York’s minor league system.
Jones becomes the fifth player from the 2018 Saints team to ink a contract with a major league organization and the 123rd different player in franchise history to have his contract purchased.
The 28-year-old Jones was impressive for St. Paul last year, going 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA and 10 saves in 27 relief appearances. In 26.2 innings pitched he issued 10 walks and struck out 38 while opponents hit a meager .200 against him.
Jones was a perfect 10-for-10 in saves situations and whiffed a batter in 13 straight appearances from July 13-August 28. He also didn’t allow a baserunner in five consecutive outings from August 12-21.
Jones was even more dominant in the playoffs, pitching 3.2 unblemished innings of relief in four contests. He earned the save in the North Division clinching Game 4 victory over the Gary SouthShore RailCats.
Jones owns a 12-10 mark with a 2.89 ERA in seven seasons of affiliated minor league baseball, though injuries and control problems have limited him.
The Minnesota Twins selected Jones out of San Jose State in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB amateur Draft.
The Mets have made it a priority to rebuild their beleaguered bullpen in the offseason, acquiring closer Edwin Diaz in a trade with the Seattle Mariners, and signing lefty Justin Wilson and re-signing former Mew York closer Jeurys Famillia to deals.
So, with the high occurrence of injuries to pitchers throughout the MLB and minor leagues, it’s always nice to have capable reinforcements at your disposal if it does happen, or when, for that matter.