2016 is a good year for the Pennsylvania high school ranks as we approach the MLB draft. We looked at Alex Kirilloff from New Kensington near Pittsburgh earlier today; now we move over to the Philadelphia area with a snapshot of Nolan Jones, from Holy Ghost Prep School in Langhorne.
Jones is a left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower, born May 7th, 1998. A year ago he was a fine prospect as a projectable pitcher with a 6-4, 170 pound frame. Over the last year he's matured physically, listed now at either 6-4 or 6-5 depending on the source with his weight at 200 or slightly higher. This is the best kind of weight gain, with lots of strength added to his athletic frame without loss of mobility or flexibility. He still has the arm to be a pitching prospect but he prefers to hit and his bat has developed considerably thanks to the physical maturity.
Jones has always shown a good swing and fairly polished hitting approach but now has the strength to drive the balls hard to all field and over fences, projecting 20 homer power. He's a decent fielder at shortstop but given his size most teams project him as a third baseman, where the bat will certainly play.
If everything develops along current lines, Jones will be an offensive force at third base, hitting for both average and power and adding a solid glove. He is committed to the University of Virginia but his stock has risen to the point where it is unlikely he will go to school.