Time for a Treasure Hunt – Jordan Jankowski
Do you ever wonder if a GM sits around in the 34th round thinking “please let this guy fall to me”? How do you even go about finding treasures in the late rounds? How do you scout a 16 yr old latin american player and say “this kid is special”? In the “Time for a Treasure Hunt” series i will try to highlight lesser known prospects who are worth keeping an eye on.
One of the comments you always hear about the Cardinals is that they were good at finding talent in obscure places. We assume that all the top players go to big schools and have prestigious NCAA careers, or come out as highly touted international free agents. Today we are going to look at a player who was not only a late round sign, but a senior sign from a relatively unknown school.
In two draft, Luhnow has shown a desire for drafting college seniors. I remember joking with a friend that if you had a good 2-seamer and a slider that you had a chance of being drafted. Jordan Jankowski isn’t a household name when it comes to prospects. I’m not even sure most Astros fans know who he is. The Astros actually drafted Jankowski twice, once in the 34th round in 2008 and again in the 34th round in 2012. After not signing in 2008, Jordan went to Catawba College in North Carolina. While Jordan has never been a player highlighted by prospect writers, he has quietly put together excellent numbers in 2012/2013.
The RHP is 6’2 and normally sits in the 88-92 range and can sit at 94 in the bullpen. Jankowski throws a number of pitches, but his bread and butter pitch is his slider. He compliments it with a 4 seam, 2 seam, 11-5 curve, and a change-up. In his first full season of pro ball, JJ was sent to LoA with the outstanding cast from the 2012 draft. In 89 IP in LoA he manage a 2.61 ERA with a BB/9 of 1.72 and a SO/9 of 8.33. Jordan was honored with a Midwest League All Star nomination in his first season of pro ball. Now some might point to Jordan’s advanced age as a reason for his dominance in LoA, but as a senior sign he continued his impressive numbers upon his promotion to HiA. After his promotion to Lancaster, Jordan was used strictly out of the bullpen. In 16.2 IP in HiA Jordan continued his non-walking ways by posting a 2.16 BB/9 and elevated his SO/9 to 10.8.
While I don’t see Jordan becoming the next Roy Oswalt for Houston, I can see him being a Seth Maness type. It is reasonable to see Jordan as a long man out of the pin who you bring in to get ground balls, or maybe even a number 5 starter. I can see Jordan possibly making the jump to AA as a bullpen guy or starting at HiA with a mid-season promotion as a starter. I imagine with all the rotation talent Houston has in it’s farm, that Jordan will probably be used as a bullpen guy as he progresses.
When I look at Jankowski’s stat line I see a guy who might have been a nice find in the late rounds. The fact is, that deep in the draft you’re usually either taking HS talent that fell far or minor league depth. I think Jordan can be a contributor at the major league level. As a fan, I recommend keeping an eye on Jordan’s career from this point on. I think we will see him in an Astros uniform before it’s all over with.
follow Jordan Jankowski on twitter @JJ_Jankowski33
follow Jared Webb on twitter @webberoo11