Prospect Countdown #8 : Jake Jewell

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #8 : Right-Handed Pitcher, Jake Jewell (photo : Travis Berg)

Jake Jewell, Right-Handed Pitcher

HT : 6'3
WT : 200
DOB : May 16, 1993 (22), Norman, OK
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Northeast Oklahoma A&M College (Miami, OK)
Acquired : Drafted in 5th Round of 2014 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : #30


When speaking to scouts regarding Los Angeles Angels' prospects, one name is always brought up in conversation. Jake Jewell has the stuff and tools that scouts love, and the Angels are reaping the rewards of a small school pitcher who has better stuff than what the numbers would recommend. As he progresses, and his stuff plays out against more experienced batters, Jewell's stock will only rise, turning him into one of the system's top pitching prospects, which it already has to an extent.


SCOUTING REPORT:

The biggest weapon in Jewell's arsenal is his fastball. It sits primarily 90-95 on any given night, and has been upwards of 97 at times. It comes in very heavy with a sneaky movement, coming in with both velocity and a two-seam sinking break. This is what scouts raved about when he was drafted and it's only improved.

New to Jewell's arsenal is a wicked changeup. This time last year, there was no sign that it was more than raw, and now, it may be as strong as his fastball. It has running movement and registers enough velocity to not range with his slow fastballs, but isn't slow enough to be easy to project, which comes from his above-average arm speed while delivering the pitch. This gives it a high load of desire in being a swing-and-miss offering with more development.

Jewell has a nice biting slider to match up with his changeup offering. In college, he got away with throwing it often, but fell in love with it a bit too much before registering his changeup. He now uses it in proper counts and scenarios, giving it more desire. When it's thrown on a line, it has a nice breaking pattern with a heavy and hard biting break. If Jewell can turn his slider into a strong "out pitch," while mixing his fastball and changeup, he could turn his entire arsenal into plus stuff.

There is some concern on Jewell's abilities to command his pitches, though he has rarely shown struggles in finding the strike zone. That can create an issue, as his pitches are in the zone, but he's not hitting the corners. Instead, he's putting pitches in the swing path, which causes hits. That can turn him into a pitch-to-contact guy, with weak contact due to his wicked arsenal, but his pitches are much more equipped to be swing-and-miss offerings. As he fine tunes his ability to place his pitches, he'll become a more sincere threat to stick in the rotation.

As for the rotation, it's a new theme for Jewell. He was a starter in college, and things went sour, so they moved him to a closer role, which turned into his bread and butter to getting drafted. The Angels moved him back to a starting spot, then back to the bullpen, then back to the rotation. Now, with his changeup, the future looks to be in the rotation for Jewell. As he gains a routine in going through the order multiple times, he'll be able to figure his own pitching mold and new pattern to attack.

Mechanically, Jewell is very sound. He shows balance in his three-quarter delivery, and is repetitive in throwing the ball, which is where his command should begin to show progress. He has a large frame, with plenty of strength and oomph behind his stride. His stride in itself adds deception, as he takes a large step towards the plate, giving the ball a new perceptive of added velocity, which mixes well with his plus arsenal.

VIDEO : Midwest League Prospects

Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Throughout his career at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Jewell struggled as a starter but found his mold as the team's closer his junior year. During that season, he posted a 2.61 ERA and 1.129 WHIP to go along with eight saves and 34 strikeouts in 31 innings. Four of those 31 innings saw three strikeouts, as he K'd the side quad amount of times.

Splitting time between a pair of affiliates, Jewell saw his number inflate upon hitting the hitter friendly Pioneer League, all the way to a 3.59 ERA from a 1.48 ERA in the AZL. Prior to his promotion to Orem, Jewell held bats to a .213 average and .575 OPS in 30.1 innings in Tempe. Along with this came a 70% groundball rate.

Last season was a developmental year for Jewell, as he learned new pitches, and saw his numbers take a hit for it. In Low-A, Jewell held a 4.77 ERA, but only saw a 1.266 WHIP while striking out nearly one per inning. Jewell was moved from the bullpen to the rotation where he began to excel, putting together a string of five outings that went five innings each, with three runs or less in each.

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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Jewell will begin this season in High-A, as the ace. There, he'll learn to use his changeup against top-tier prospects who have quality experience under their belt. This will be a strong test for him, and be the true marker in whether he belongs in the rotation or bullpen.

The future is a large question mark for Jewell since it hasn't yet been decided where he's best suited for the future. If he can tame his command and use his stuff to his advantage, he has middle of the rotation type stuff. If not, the same stuff would play out well in the back of the bullpen. Regardless, the Angels have a nice arm who brings high-end pitches to the mound with him in each outing.



For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



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