Thursday, June 19 - Asheville 1, Augusta 0
Jones said after the game he had his best fastball command so far this season. My observation was that he just had everything going. It was probably the best start I've seen from him.
Jones worked 87-92. The two-seamer was 87-89, and the four-seamer was 89-92. He worked both sides of the plate effectively, and he had excellent command of both fastballs. The two-seamer was full of arm-side run, leading to several swings and misses as batters swung over it. The four-seamer was more of the blow-away pitch with a little added velo, giving him another look and not allowing batters to time one type of fastball. At times, Jones' fastballs worked up, and Asheville would send it deep to the gaps, but Jones let Lake Olmstead's deep outfield do its job by killing fly balls.
Jones' changeup was in plus range. It plays off the two-seamer so well, which makes it play up even more. I can't say enough about how the addition of the two-seamer has given Jones such a deadly combination between it and the changeup. It's basically the same pitch, including movement and arm action, just with different speeds. He's going to make a living on this in the upper levels.
Jones' slider was the best I've seen from him. It flashes as nothing more than an average offering most of the time, but he snapped off several above-average sliders in this start. When it's on, it has late, two-plane bite, and he can work it to either side. It was especially effective against left-handed batters, giving him that added look.
Jones threw four legitimate pitches in this start. When he has his command and feel, he's able to work both sides and control a lineup with different looks and speeds. It comes down to repeating his mechanics and having a loose arm that allows his fastball to come out of his hand well. If he stays on top of the ball and repeats his motion, he can be a reliable starting pitcher down the line.
Nothing about Jemiola stood out, but he showed good enough command to use his average arsenal effectively. His fastball was 89-92 and relatively straight. It produced a lot of fly balls. The changeup was his better secondary in this outing, sitting around 80 with some tumble. His arm motion stayed pretty good for the pitch. The breaking ball flashed average, falling off the table with downward break at around 83 when thrown well.
Jemiola flashes three pitches that worked effectively against Augusta. None of them stand out or have plus potential, but he has good command of his stuff and can get the most out of it when he's on.
Jemiola's delivery is a little deliberate. He works up, similar to Jair Jurrjens, and he uses effort to stay on top of the ball. His arm slot is high, and it requires effort to reach his release point. It's not ideal, but he seems to have the frame and strength to handle it.
Notable Augusta lines:
Christian Jones: 7 IP, 4 H, 7 K, 9 ground balls, 7 fly balls, 1 line drive, 12 swinging strikes, 87-92
Ty Ross: 1-3, BB
Notable Asheville lines:
Zach Jemiola: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 2 K, 7 ground balls, 11 fly balls, 3 line drives, 9 swinging strikes, 89-92
Troy Neiman: 2.1 IP, BB, 2 K
Correlle Prime: 1-3, BB
Raimel Tapia: 1-4, 2B