Blue Jays: Could Jordan Groshans crack the big league roster next year?

Mar 1, 2021; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays Jordan Groshans #77 poses during media day at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: MLB photos via USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2021; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays Jordan Groshans #77 poses during media day at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: MLB photos via USA TODAY Sports /

Prominently featured on the Blue Jays top prospect list since being drafted in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft, infielder Jordan Groshans has been working his way up through the minor league ladder since turning pro.

Regarded for his hitting ability, Groshans was an “off the board” pick in the first round but signed for under slot value, paving the way for the club to sign over slot for third-round selection Adam Kloffenstein, Groshans teammate at Magnolia High School.

Currently ranked as the Blue Jays #3 prospect, the right-handed hitter spent this past season down in AA with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, slashing .291/.367/.450 with seven home runs, 40 RBI, and a .817 OPS. On the field, Groshans would spend 43 games (41 starts) at shortstop and 21 at third base, with the Texas product finishing the year with a .960 and a .863 fielding percentage respectively.

After appearing in only 20 games in 2019 due to a foot injury and with the 2020 minor league season cancelled due to COVID-19, Groshans took advantage of his most recent campaign after spending last season at the alternate training site, especially since his name was involved in numerous rumours this past trade deadline. The Blue Jays ended up keeping him in the farm system and instead dealt Austin Martin, Simeon Woods-Richardson, Andrew McInvale, and Riley Adams at the deadline for veteran talent to try and propel the Blue Jays into the postseason.

Jordan Groshans is one of the Toronto Blue Jays top prospects in the minor leagues and could make his Major League debut sometime next season.

While there is a possibility the front office could still trade Groshans this offseason, especially if they are trying to bring a big fish like Jose Ramirez from the Cleveland Guardians, he should roll into Spring Training next year on the verge of making the big league club.

A strong spring campaign will definitely help his cause but he will most likely begin the 2022 season in the minor leagues, either in AA or AAA, and will be waiting in the wings if someone gets injured on the active roster. Not helping his case is the fact he is not on the 40-man roster, meaning someone else will have to be dropped before he can make his debut.

Groshans should be a contender for the potential open third base spot this spring, competing alongside Kevin Smith, Santiago Espinal, Cavan Biggio, and Breyvic Valera for the role if the Blue Jays don’t look outside the organization for help. He did struggle at the hot corner from a defensive standpoint, which is a bit concerning, but with Bo Bichette entrenched at shortstop for the foreseeable future, his only other options are to move to second base (as long as Marcus Semien doesn’t return) or third base if he wants to crack the major league roster.

It will not be a walk in the park if he tries to take second base as well, with fellow prospect Otto Lopez splitting his time between second and in the outfield and is a step ahead of Groshans in that he is on the 40-man roster already and has one at-bat with the big league club.

Overall, Espinal most likely has the inside track for the full time third base spot with Smith and Valera on his heels, as I think Biggio is probably heading to either second or a utility role. It will be hit bat is what will carry him to the Major Leagues and Groshans will need to keep hitting well in AAA next year in order to keep himself ready for a call-up opportunity, whether it be at third, shortstop, or second base.

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He has the tools and ability but with Bichette taking up his current position and not going anywhere unless they sign a premium free agent (and still blocking his path to the majors), a position switch is most likely in his future.

If Groshans can have a hot start to the season with the Bisons next year, it will only be a matter of time before the club won’t be able to keep him in the minor leagues any longer and will need to either call him up or potentially trade him away.