Hey guys, I took a run down to Fluor Field in Greenville, SC yesterday to see the Drive (Red Sox) take on the Hickory Crawdads (Rangers). On the mound for Greenville was young high profile lefty Jay Groome and he’s got an impressive arsenal.
Groome- age 18, listed 6’6″ 220 lbs, bats and throws left. He was drafted 12th overall in the 2016 draft out of high school in Barnegat, NJ (South Jersey, Shore).
Groome looks fully filled out and thick in the core and legs. I guessed on the field 6’6″ 235 lbs, he moves very well for a big man right now but he’s 18. He’ll need to stay on top of the conditioning to not be 250+ in 5 years.
Groome has a rhythmic delivery that he repeats very well and a high leg kick. He finishes with his momentum carrying him toward home plate and in very good fielding position. He utilizes a 3/4 release point and gets excellent plane on his pitches. The effort level in the delivery is medium.
Early on the fastball sat 93-94 and touched 95 a couple of times before settling in the 91-93 range. Some control over command as is common for teenage arms but he’s already pretty consistent arm side and I believe fastball command will be a strength with more reps and professional coaching. The loss of velocity isn’t too concerning either he’s 18 plenty of time to find consistency he just needs to log innings at this point. 55/60
The 11/5 curve sat 77-80 and features tight spin, good depth and a late sharp break. He left a few up early but but then was dialed in, either burying the pitch or dropping it in at the knees. He has a lot of confidence in the curve throwing it in any count including a few for 1st pitch strikes. A true put away pitch, easily the best bender I’ve seen in the Sally this season. 65/70
The change up sat 80-83 and flashed some sink. He did a nice job selling the pitch, matching the arm speed of the fastball. 45/50
Sequencing: Early on Groome was 75% fastball with 15% curve and 10% change. By the 5th he was 65% fastball, 30% curve and 5% change.
Conclusion: Groome was a lot of fun to watch. He has everything you want in a teen arm, a quality fastball, a put away secondary pitch and a competent 3rd pitch. His athleticism and good coordination allows him to repeat his delivery and release point very well despite his length. He’ll probably be one level per season at least through A+ in order to build innings. He has #2 starter upside. The risk is high because he’s a teen pitcher in A Ball but the fact he’s already repeating mitigates some of that for me.
Here we get a several good looks at Groome’s delivery courtesy of soxprospects.com (an excellent resource for all things Red Sox minors) :