The Red Sox have purchased the contract of right-hander Joe Jones from the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the independent American Association, the team announced on Wednesday.
Jones, 27, posted a 3.72 ERA with 66 strikeouts to 44 walks in 43 relief appearances (55 2/3 innings) for the league champion RedHawks last yea. The righty has past experience in affiliated ball, as he spent most of the 2021 minor-league season in the Diamondbacks organization before being released by Arizona that August.
A native of Tennessee, Jones went undrafted out of Division III Maryville College in 2017. He then made several stops on the indy ball circuit, pitching for the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association (2017), Martinez Clippers of the Pacific Association (2018), York Revolution of the Atlantic League (2019), Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League (2019), and Road Warrior Black Sox of the Washington League (2020) before signing a minor-league deal with the Diamondbacks in February 2021.
Jones broke camp with High-A Hillsboro that spring. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound hurler pitched to a 3.46 ERA (4.44 FIP) with 15 strikeouts to 10 walks in 13 appearances (13 innings) for the Hops before being promoted to Double-A Amarillo in late June. He then struggled to a 9.31 ERA (9.58 FIP) to go along with 10 strikeouts to nine walks over his next 10 outings (9 2/3 innings) before getting cut loose by the Sod Poodles on Aug. 20.
Four days later, Jones signed with Fargo-Moorhead. He did not allow a run in his first six appearances for the RedHawks down the stretch in 2021, which resulted in the club exercising his option for the 2022 season.
Jones, who turns 28 in July, throws from a three-quarters arm slot and features a four-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball that can top out in the high-90s, a sinker, a slider, and a newly-implemented changeup, according to Eric Peterson of the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.
At this point in time, it remains to be seen which minor-league affiliate the Red Sox will assign Jones to for the start of the 2023 campaign, though it will presumably come down to either High-A Greenville or Double-A Portland. Before that happens though, it should be interesting to see what Jones brings to the table at minor-league camp down in Fort Myers.
Speaking of interesting, Jones has a unique pregame routine in which he does walking handstands in an effort to improve shoulder strength and stability.
“It’s a pretty big stimulus for me to walk on my hands,” he told Peterson last August. “I like it to get the blood flowing in the shoulders. My record this season is 66 steps continuously on my hands.”
(Picture of Joe Jones: Savannah Lussier/Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks)