TCN 2014 Cardinals Prospect #14: Cory Jones

The big right-handed pitcher from California makes a big debut in our annual top 40.

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2013 and career stats)

2013 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
NR RHS 9/20/1991 6-5 220 R R 2012 5th

School: College of the Canyons (California)

Selected 2013 stats

Peo 8 2 2.04 3.28 11 11 0 66.1 52 17 4 16 52 0.99 0.215 0.257

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Message board community (18): Unranked by the community last year, Cory Jones jumps all way up to 18th in voting by the community this year. The right-hander earned that support after he showed he was able to stay healthy enough to make 11 starts, throwing strikes and at times commanding those strikes.

Jones had an 8-2 won-loss record with a 2.04 ERA. Had Jones not missed time in August due to injury, his stats could have been even better. He was dominant and almost unhittable at times. It would have been interesting to see what he could have accomplished had he been able to make more than 11 starts.

Jones was the Cards' fifth-round draft choice in 2012 from College of the Canyons. When healthy, he can dial it up in the upper 90s, with a big power curve-ball that is said to miss bats. Standing at 6-foot-5, Jones has an ideal pitcher's body. But there is effort in his delivery, and that, combined with an inconsistent change-up, may suggest Jones' ultimate future is in relief. Regardless, he is now on the prospect radar after his 2013 performance.

Jones missed the last part of the season with a hip flexor injury that is now healed, so he should be ready to strive for bigger things in 2014. - DTFlush234

Brian Walton (14): What will the St. Louis Cardinals do for an encore after their current wave of high-visibility pitching prospects deliver on their respective promises (Miller, Wacha, Rosenthal, Martinez, etc.)?

There is every reason to suspect the scouting and player development functions will be able to continue on their current roll. In other words, another talented group of hurlers may soon follow. Not surprisingly, our votes here indicate our expectation that Jones will be right there among them.

As he has done throughout this countdown, DTFlush did an excellent job highlighting Jones' strengths from a scouting perspective. Jones truly looks the part physically and backs it up on the mound. Having spoken with the 22-year-old several times, I can add that he seems to have the maturity necessary to handle what may be ahead.

Unlike a number of other successful pitchers in the organization, Jones was not moved ahead during the 2013 season. Instead, perhaps because he missed a month from late July until late August, he remained with Peoria to make his final two regular-season starts before he was named TCN's Chiefs Starting Pitcher of the Year. Jones finished his 2013 with a fall tune-up in instructional league camp.

A spot in Palm Beach's rotation to open 2014 seems most likely. Further, if Jones remains healthy and productive, reaching Springfield during the summer should be attainable.

In his own words: In October from instructs, Jones spoke about his 2013 season and more. Click here for our interview, exclusively for subscribers to The Cardinal Nation.

Our 2014 top 40 countdown continues: To see the list of top Cardinals prospects announced to date and remaining article schedule, click here. You can also read the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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