Position: SP/RP | Age (2016): 23
Throws: R | Bats: R
Height: 6’3″ | Weight: 200
2015 Rank: Unranked
10 words or fewer: Flamethrower from OK. Good slider. Starter or reliever?
Fastball – A-. Jewell just missed out on the Top 30 last year, and a big reason why he’s up this year (other than the weak state of the system) is that big fastball of his. Jewell can pump gas into the upper 90’s with regularity, mostly sitting at 93-95 as a starter. Perhaps the scariest part for all involved is the fact that Jewell’s throwing his two-seam fastball at that velocity. That means movement, and with as much speed and speed as he incorporates, that means A LOT of movement. Call it the Garrett Richards effect if you will. High velocity, high revolution, lots of movement. The ball just kind of explodes out of his hand.
Off-speed Pitches – B-. Jewell tosses his fair share of sliders, and they’re all quite good. He’s encouragingly consistent in his use of these. The movement makes the pitch start at a hitters knees and dives down toward their cleats. As the year progressed, we saw Jewell drop the slider at the knees for a strike more frequently. His changeup however, left a lot to be desired. He’ll need to work on this more to remain a starter.
Control – B. Jake has shown uncharacteristically strong BB/9 rates since being drafted and he’s given us every reason to expect such a strong performance in the future. I say uncharacteristically because most raw pitchers drafted out of small colleges with a reliever repertoire like Jewell has, typically have trouble finding the plate. But not Jake. He pounds the zone, to a fault even.
Command – C. It’s tough to be successful when you catch too much of the plate. But therein lies the difference between college and pro ball. Throwing hard in the strike zone in one thing, hitting he corners is another entirely. I’m sure it will come with experience.
Mechanics – B. Jewell shows great balance and composure in his delivery. He uses a high three-quarters arm slot for all of his pitches and has a great deal of extension toward home plate, using his long 6’3 frame to release the ball from 55 feet away. He’s one of the rare starters/relievers that will NOT have their future role dictated upon their ability to iron out the mechanics.
Performance – C. In his first full season, Jewell experienced his fair share of highs and lows, which is expected. He was better than his ERA indicated as a reliever. Once he made the full transition to starter, things seemed to going swimmingly for Jake, until fatigue seemed to set in. Jewell should have no problem building off this performance and moving into the Cal League next year.
Projection – B-. I like Jewell better as a reliever, but I understand why the Angels are using him a starter. I think pretty much every pitcher should be used as a starter until that avenue isn’t possible anymore. Jewell has the mechanics to be a rotation pitcher, and he certainly has the stuff to be a mid or front of the rotation starter if his change up improves and he starts hitting his spots. However, at this point Jake more resembles a reliever to me. Hard, darting fastball and great slider as well as the ability to throw strikes could make him lethal in the late innings.
Estimated Time of Arrival – 2018/2019. Jewell should head to the Cal League this year, and it should be make or break in determining whether or not he has a future as a starter or reliever. Ultimately, I see him as a reliever, and I think that decision will be made at some point this year. Once that happens though, he should only spend about a year in AA/AAA before being promoted. His stuff and control are too good not to result in a promotion if he keeps it up.
What to expect in 2016 – Jewell will more than likely move on to the Cal League next year, which certainly won’t be friendly to Jake the way the Midwest League was. I think he’ll have one more season of extended relief and starts before the Angels move him strictly to a shorter bullpen role.
Most Likely Scenario – Because of the inability to work as deep into games as he should, Jewell will transition to full time relief by AA. Shortly thereafter, he’ll be called upon and grow into an effective major league middle reliever.
Grade as a Prospect – C. Because of the inflated ERA and uncertain future regarding his role, Jewell grades out as more of an average prospect, but with the potential for more.