Devin Jones, RHP: Jones was used primarily as a reliever at Mississippi State and remained in the bullpen as a professional until the Orioles moved him to the rotation midway through the 2012 season. Last year was his first as a full-time starter and he made 24 starts at Double-A Bowie. He posted a 5.84 ERA and a 108-to-48 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 123 1/3 innings. Jones pounds the zone with his low-90s fastball, creating lots of ground balls thanks to its heavy movement. He is also throws a sweeping slider and is working to develop his changeup. Whether he can improve his command and his changeup will likely determine his future role. He could be a back-of-the-rotation starter in the Major Leagues. Some scouts, however, like Jones more in the bullpen, where he can reach 96 mph with his fastball. In the bullpen, he could be a setup man.
On Monday, the Orioles and Padres reached a deal to swap right-handed pitchers, with Baltimore acquiring Brad Brach in exchange for Minor Leaguer Devin Jones.
Brach, who last Wednesday was designated for assignment by San Diego, posted a 3.19 ERA over 31 innings in 33 relief appearances this past season for the Padres. A 42nd-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Brach went 3-6 with a 3.70 ERA over 109 big league appearances over the past three years. He recorded a 2.34 ERA with 118 saves over six Minor League seasons.
As for Jones, the 23-year-old righty went 5-7 with a 5.64 ERA this season in 25 starts, all but one of which were with Double-A Bowie. The other came with Class A Frederick.
"He's a lot like Brad Brach, in that he had a better 2012," said Padres general manager Josh Byrnes of Jones. "Hopefully, a change of scenery will help. We've liked him and had some good reports on him. Hopefully, we can get him back to where he was."
A ninth-round pick in the 2011 Draft, Jones went 15-18 with a 4.47 ERA in 67 appearances (34 starts) during his three seasons in the Orioles' organization.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.