If there was one unsung pitcher in the bullpen of the Chicago White Sox I would have to say that it was Nate Jones. Jones was integral to the bullpen in 2012 and will be just as important to it in 2013. Let’s take a look at what Jones did in 2012 and what I expect from him in 2013.
Jones made the 25-man roster for the White Sox right out of Spring Training. He made an immediate impact with the White Sox, and justified why they were right in having him on the main roster. He recorded his first career victory against the Detroit Tigers –the first of many for that season.
Jones went 8-0 with the White Sox. He appeared in 65 games. He posted an ERA of 2.39 in 71.2 innings of work. He struck out 65 batters and only walked 32. He also only allowed four home runs all season. Those numbers are pretty impressive for a rookie pitcher.
Jones has five pitches that he uses, but mainly relies on his four-seam fastball. He also uses a slider and a changeup. He possesses a two-seam fastball and a curveball both of which he doesn’t frequently use. So what do I expect of Jones in 2013?
First, I would like to see him use his two-seam fastball more along with his curve. I’m sure that batters in the American League will start to adjust to his pitching style. If he only relies on his four-seam fastball that ERA of 2.29 might jump up because batters will be honing in on it.
Second, I expect him to have his ERA either in the high twos or hovering around three. I don’t expect Jones to go out and win eight games like he did in 2012 but that would be nice. I also expect to see the innings of work increase since Jones is no longer a rookie.
I see a lot of upside with Jones and I’m sure the White Sox do as well. Look for him to contribute a lot in 2013 and for the foreseeable future.
What do you think of Nate Jones? Let me know and follow me on Twitter @EvanCrum1319