Twins’ Kyle Jones Shows Wide Repertoire


Righthander Kyle Jones went 1-13 over two seasons at a university that has never produced a pitcher who lasted even 300 career innings in the majors. But the Twins still saw big league potential.

“He didn’t have much to show for it right away at Toledo, but you could see he had the tools, the arm, the makeup,” Twins farm director Drew MacPhail said. “His last year there, he started having the success that matched his potential.”

Success like a Toledo-record 114 strikeouts and first-team all-Mid-American Conference honors, achievements that convinced the Twins to draft him in the seventh round in 2022.

Now Jones’ new team is counting on their patience—and belief in his tools—being rewarded again.

The 24-year-old’s first full professional season in 2023 had plenty of highlights. He didn’t allow a home run through his first 38.1 innings at High-A Cedar Rapids, and he demonstrated a five-pitch repertoire.

“He added a slider last year, which has really helped him against righties,” MacPhail said. “He’s got an impact fastball, too, and a big curve. All five (pitches) are legit.”

But Jones’ stamina held him back, MacPhail said. He struck out 89 batters in 99 innings, but it could have been more. And fatigue, the Twins believe, contributed to his 35 walks.

“His fastball gets up to 95 (mph), but he has trouble maintaining it. It ticked down around 92 as he went through outings,” MacPhail said. “We’re kind of working on ways he can recover and continue to throw as hard as he does in the first inning, to help him miss more bats.

“The good news is, it’s something he can address, and he’s exactly the kind of guy who will put the work in.”

Or put less work in, when necessary. The Twins asked Jones to limit his pregame and off-day pitch counts, and they are hopeful that an offseason conditioning program will help.

“We think a lot of him. He’s got the arsenal to be a starter,” MacPhail said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes a big step forward.”

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