Red Sox swing for upside with third-round draft pick Blaze Jordan

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JULY 08: Blaze Jordan is seen during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Progressive Field on July 08, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JULY 08: Blaze Jordan is seen during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Progressive Field on July 08, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Red Sox selected Blaze Jordan in the third round of the MLB draft.

If fans were underwhelmed by the club’s surprising choice in the first round of the MLB draft, the Boston Red Sox made up for it by selecting exciting young slugger Blaze Jordan with their next pick.

The Red Sox are clearly higher than most on Nick Yorke but the primary reason for reaching for him with the No. 17 overall pick was to sign him for under slot value, leaving more money to work with later in the draft. That will allow them to pay over slot for a player who fell further than his potential warranted.

The strategy may have paid off when they landed Jordan with the No. 89 overall pick in the third round. The 17-year-old has massive raw power that made him an internet sensation. He was hitting 500-foot moonshots by the time he was 15.

Jordan won the High School Home Run Derby last year during All-Star week in Cleveland, which led to an opportunity to celebrate on the field with Mookie Betts.

According to PerfectGame.Org, Jordan’s exit velocity, max barrel speed, impact momentum, and max acceleration rank in the 99th percentile. The right-handed hitter made adjustments by cutting down his lower half movement and shortening his swing, which should help reduce strikeouts and allows him to hit the ball to all fields.

Red Sox amateur scouting director Paul Toboni has had Jordan on his radar for years and he’s convinced that the young slugger will develop into a strong all-around hitter rather than a pure power threat, according to MassLive’s Chris Cotillo.

"“He has got some innate attributes that are very hard to teach and how he generates bat speed, how he’s able to process information out of the pitcher’s hand and transfer that to mechanical action, it’s super unique,” Toboni said. “You don’t see it very often, but when you do see it, it sticks out to you. When it’s coming from a 16 or 17 year old kid, it really sticks out to you.”."

Taboni called Jordan an exciting talent with the type of upside that normally doesn’t fall to pick No. 89. He has more upside than many players selected ahead of him but Jordan also comes with a fair amount of risk.

Jordan reclassified to be a part of this draft, so he’s younger than most players in this draft, and he’s committed to going to Mississippi State. Those factors understandably made teams shy about pulling the trigger on him in the first round even if he has the talent to be considered that early in the draft. The further he fell in the draft, the lower his slot value became and teams without extra money to spare on that pick may not have been confident that they could steer Jordan away from his college commitment.

By taking Yorke in the first round, who they should be able to sign for well below the $3.61 million projected for his draft slot, the Red Sox can afford to spend more on Jordan. The approximately $667K projected for a mid-third-round pick probably isn’t enough to convince him to skip college, which explains why other teams passed on him in that range. If the Red Sox have an extra half million or more to throw his way, that should be enticing enough to sign him.

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High school players are more difficult to project, especially those as young as Jordan. It’s hard to ignore his mammoth power potential though. The Red Sox are swinging for the fences on Jordan’s upside and if he lives up to the hype, Chaim Bloom will have hit a home run in the third round.