Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: First rounder impressing after first pro season

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 17: The batting gloves for the Toronto Blue Jays are seen before game two of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins on April 17, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 17: The batting gloves for the Toronto Blue Jays are seen before game two of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins on April 17, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Jordan Groshans, an 18-year-old infielder from Texas, just finished up his first season of professional ball, impressing many and offering Blue Jays fans genuine hope for the future.

Many were slightly puzzled when shortstop Jordan Groshans was drafted in the first round of the 2018 draft. Not because of Groshans himself – the Magnolia High School product was undoubtedly talented and skillful – but more so because of the immense amount of organizational depth already present at his position.

A shortstop and third baseman by nature, Groshans spent his first professional season split between the GCL Blue Jays and the Bluefield Blue Jays, both rookie affiliates. Appearing in 48 games (37 of them in the GCL), he slashed .296/.353/.446 with five homers, 43 RBI and 13 doubles.

At the time of his promotion to the Appalachian League, Groshans led the Gulf Coast League in runs batted in and was in the top ten in slugging percentage. Currently helping the Bluefield Blue Jays in their quest to capture an Appalachian League title, Groshans is, according to Fangraphs, a year younger than the average Rookie level ballplayer.

Really, it comes as no surprise that he’s producing at this level. His pre-draft scouting report, courtesy of Minor League Ball, notes that his raw power is his best trait. Last Word on Baseball pegged him more for a hybrid of Matt Holliday (315 career HR, .299/.379/.511 and 44.8 WAR) and Kris Bryant (105 HR, .286/.386/.518 and 21.2 WAR). Both of those comparisons would certainly satisfy Blue Jays fans if ultimately true.

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As far as prospect ratings go, Groshans has fared well on many lists. MLB Pipeline has him listed as the eighth best prospect in the organization, and other sources figure to follow that trend when new, updated prospects lists are released in the coming months.

As if his offensive prowess and skill aren’t enough, Groshans also gets to climb the ranks of the Blue Jays organization with childhood friend and up and coming pitcher Adam Kloffenstein, who was drafted by the Jays in the third round of the very same draft.

Kloffenstein, who is currently ranked as the Blue Jays’ 12th best prospect, has pitched two scoreless innings for the GCL Blue Jays since making his pro debut this summer. Also 18, Kloffenstein hoped that him and Groshans would get drafted by the same team. When it actually happened, he simply said: “It’s pretty wild that it actually happened, we’re both happy, we both got what we wanted. Crazy.” Shi Davidi of Sportsnet wonderfully summed up the friendship in a column for Sportsnet.ca.

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In summary, of all the numerous exciting prospects in the Blue Jays organization, Jordan Groshans should surely be one to keep an eye on as the season marches on. Next season, it’s possible he’ll continue to progress and find himself with a Class-A affiliate. Regardless of the aforementioned abundance of talented, young middle infielders, it’s great to see a first rounder succeeding early in his career.

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