The 2016 12th overall pick out of New Jersey throws a lot of heat, but working with Chris Sale makes him that much deadlier.
In 2016, Jason Groome heard his name called as the 12th person in the MLB Amateur 2016 draft. After being given a $3.65 million contract with the Red Sox, the 6’6 southpaw out of Barngat, NJ came into 2017 as MLB.com’s #43 prospect. Last season, he sported a 3-9 record with a ghastly 5.69 ERA through 55.1 innings of work throughout low a and single a baseball.
He has a wide arsenal of pitches that he uses to work his counts. He has a fastball velocity range from low to mid 90s, as well as a nice power curve that glides with great movement. His tall frame works to his advantage as well. It helps give him good downhill action on his pitches, which will make the timing harder to follow. His change-up is a work in progress, as command issues have plagued that pitch in 2017.
Once he fully develops throughout the minor league system, he could be a dual threat pitcher. What could make him more valuable? Enter Chris Sale. The ace of the Red Sox has been training throughout the offseason in Florida with the young lefty. He could learn a lot from a pitcher like Sale. Sale came in second place in the Cy young voting just two months ago. He is coming off a season in which he struck out over 300 batters. If you pay close attention to both pitchers, the similarities are striking.
Both pitchers have a long, lengthy left-handed body. Even though Sale has a wider delivery than Groome, they both throw with their arms a bit to the side. This helps give them a better angle on their pitches. In Chris Sale’s case, the awkward delivery helps make the timing of the hitter off kilter at first sight. Not many pitchers have his size and delivery, while being able to whip a fastball over 95 mph.
Jason Groome will adapt after his first full season in the minors. Seeing what the pace is will help him make the right adjustments while being able to do it comfortably in the offseason. While recent pitchers such as Jordan Cote, Jacob Smith, and Josciel Verjas were released and never signed up to this point. Coming straight out of high school has its disadvantages, but they can be easy to overcome.
How far he progresses this year is up to Dave Dombrowski and company, but one things for certain. As the days, months, and years go by, expect to hear about Jason Groome. This kid is only getting better. With some hard work, could be a multiple Cy Young award winner at some point throughout his career.
Photo Cred: Baseball Hot Corner