Boston Red Sox top-30 prospect rankings after the 2019 season
By Hunter Noll
9. Jay Groome (Starting Pitcher)
There’s a world where Jay Groome is the number one prospect in the Boston Red Sox system at this point. And there’s also a world where Jay Groome is the number one prospect in all of baseball at this point. There’s also a world where Jay Groome is already in the Majors and one of the best and most exciting young arms in the game.
Instead, we are here. It’s not for a lack of talent or effort, it’s just bad luck with injuries.
For my money, Jay Groome will still have a long and extremely successful career in the Majors. It’s just been pushed back a little bit.
Groome was drafted in 2016. That season he threw just 6 2/3 innings (3 1/3 more in the playoffs). In 2017 the left-handed pitcher threw just 55 1/3 innings, that’s actually a career-high for him. 2018 was a complete wash, as he didn’t pitch. Finally, 2019 saw him throw four innings (5 2/3 more in the playoffs).
Due to the small sample sizes, we won’t really discuss his numbers. I’ll just say that over those total innings, he’s shown he can be completely dominant. Groome’s already had a number of overpowering appearances. This is highlighted by his .227 BAA and 88 strikeouts in 66 innings.
Groome is still just 21 years old (and he just turned that on August 23). There’s no reason to panic about the injuries as he’s got a long career ahead of him.
Groome’s a three-pitch guy with a changeup as his number three. It drops down into the mid-80s which means he’s taking off about 10 MPH from his fastball. That gives this pitch some power. If he can develop it further it could be dangerous.
His fastball sits in the mid-90s and could gain speed (especially after all the injury nonsense). When Groome is commanding this pitch it’s incredible. He can paint with it and with its speed and movement can become surgical.
I always say the changeup is my favorite pitch in baseball, and that’s not changing. Groome’s curveball is so beautiful though it makes me reconsider at times. I’m talking Barry Zito like with that thing.
He sits in the high-70s to low-80s with it and it’s a sweeper. He’s going to get a lot of swing-and-misses on balls in the dirt with this pitch. Meanwhile, he’ll likely get quite a few people staring at them as they end up dropping right into the zone. Knee-bucklers will happen, and that’s always fun.
Oh, and Groome’s 21 and pitched in Short-A last year. Those pitches will only get better. The Red Sox have a star on their hands if he can stay healthy.