Why Jay Groome and Joey Wentz were my top Sally arms in 2017

Jason Groome, photo courtesy of:
Kelly O’Connor, sittingstill.smugmug.com
Photo courtesy of Jeff Morris (On Twitter @JeffMorrisAB)

Hey guys, I recently released my end of season Sally top 50 prospect list (End of season Sally top 50 prospect list) and my top two pitchers for the year were lefties Jay Groome and Joey Wentz. I thought I would explain why they were my top 2 arms.  And how it took seeing Groome for me to fully appreciate Wentz’s upside.

I 1st saw Joey Wentz in late April and liked him.  I wrote about him here (Scouting Joey Wentz, LHP, Rome Braves) though like everyone else I was wondering where the 95 MPH was.  A couple of months later I saw Groome (Scouting Jay Groome, LHP, Greenville) and he came out in the 1st inning firing 93-95 but from the 2nd inning on he was 91-92 (93). Buttery smooth delivery and easy arm action, it looked like he was throwing 75.  And you could already start to see signs of plus fastball command particularly arm side.  The next day Fangraphs released an interview with Groome, http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/red-sox-prospect-jay-groome-on-his-learning-curve/ and in it he talks about pitching vs throwing.  Groome was sitting 91-92 because he was comfortable there and if the situation warranted (6th inning bases loaded, 2 outs tie game) he could reach back for more.

Fast forward about a month and I see Wentz again and the stuff, effort level, easy arm action it’s all there.   He too was 91-92 pounding the glove down and away to righties. Buttery smooth it looked like he was throwing 75, I didn’t see the 1st inning bump in velo but I know it’s in there.
For being teenage arms they both have a high pitching IQ.   They’re 6’5″ and 6’6″ left handers.  They both throw downhill.  They both have a put away bender which they have a lot of confidence in and solid change ups.  They both can throw 1st pitch strikes with the curve or bury it.  They both can reach back for more if they have to.  Both show potential for plus fastball command.  And both have a chance to be special even if they never see a bump in velo. I put Groome slightly ahead because his curve is slightly more ridiculous.
Both pitchers have #2 starter upside.
Going on a trip tomorrow so no writing for a while.  It’s been a long season I could use the break. Thank you for all of your support this year it’s been a banner year at Notes.
The team preview series begin November 1st with a look at the 2018 Rome Braves.  Matt Powers will be telling us who to expect from the GCL.  I’m looking forward to getting those rolling.  Cheers.


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