Physical Description: Strong
pitcher's frame. Looks the part of someone who could throw 180
innings a year. Wide, mature body that looks all of his listed
height and weight. Height is imposing on the mound. Body will
need maintenance and bears watching as he matures. How his body
develops will depend on how much work he puts in off the field
both in-season and during the offseason. Came back from Tommy
John surgery in late 2019 in excellent shape, visibly slimmed
Mechanics: Controlled, repeatable
delivery. Loose arm. Throws from a three-quarters arm slot.
Starts on the third base side of the rubber from the wind-up.
Free and easy arm action. Starts with his feet close together
and slightly pointed towards the on-deck circle on the
first-base side. Utilizes a high leg lift and gets extension
over his front side. Hides the ball briefly when he brings it
behind his back and then again behind his head as he comes
forward. At times has trouble getting his arm in sync with the
rest of his delivery. When arm is out ahead, will miss up to the
glove side; when arm drags behind, tends to miss arm-side.
Fastball: Sits 91-93 mph, but will pitch in
the 94-96 mph range at times. Generates easy velocity. Pitch
gets on hitters quick and has life. Needs to show the ability to
hold velocity deeper into games. Has the potential to sit at
higher velocity as he matures. Pitch has shown swing-and-miss
potential, with arm-side run at times and cut on other
occasions. Potential to develop into a plus-to-better offering.
Curveball: 79-83 mph. Has been up as high
as 85 mph and as low as 75 mph in past looks. 1-to-7 shape. At
its best, shows depth and late finish. Has advanced feel for the
offering and does a good job snapping it off. Can throw for
strikes or bury down and out of the zone to induce swinging
strikes. Has the potential to be a big league-quality out pitch.
In 2019 return from Tommy John surgery, may still have been
trying to regain feel for the pitch, as it was more horizontal
and slurvey at higher velocities, but retained its longer, more
vertical shape at lower velocities. At its best, already shows
plus and has the potential to become a plus-plus offering with
mph. In the past sat 80-83 mph. Clear third offering at present.
Did not throw much in high school or in outings scouted in 2016.
Incorporated pitch more in 2017, but as a work-in-progress as he
tried to develop feel. At times will show average-to-better
potential with late fade. At other times, will show
well-below-average, coming in straight and firm and looking like
a fastball he took something off of. Doesn’t throw with
consistent arm speed; still developing. Solid-average potential,
but will take some time to develop.
Career Notes: Was ranked by
some outlets as the top talent in the 2016 draft class, but fell
due to signability and makeup concerns. Committed to Vanderbilt
initially, but conflicting reports emerged saying he either
decommitted the week of the draft to commit to Chipola (Fla.)
Junior College, potentially allowing him to re-enter draft in
2017, or that Vanderbilt pulled his offer; SoxProspects sources
unanimously confirmed the latter. Transferred to IMG Academy in
Florida for his junior season but returned to Barnegat High in
New Jersey as a senior and was later retroactively suspended for
an improper transfer, causing his team to forfeit two games.
Reportedly agreed to a pre-draft deal with the San Diego Padres,
who had picks number 24 and 25, but Red Sox selected him anyway.
Signed for $457,200 over slot. Club reportedly was unhappy with his
conditioning entering 2017 Spring Training. Suffered an
intercostal strain during his first start of the 2017 season,
causing him to miss two months, then was shut down in mid-August
2017 with forearm soreness. Father was arrested on drug and
weapons charges during 2017 season. Worked out with Chris Sale
in Ft. Myers during the 2017-18 offseason. Was injured in first
spring training start in 2018, leading to May 2018 Tommy John
surgery. Missed the 2018 season and most of 2019. Returned in
August 2019 with a slimmed-down physique. Pitched at the
Alternate Training Site in 2020 against much older hitters.
Participated in 2016 and 2020 Fall Instructional League.
Summation: Potential back-end starter with the ceiling
of a high-end number two, but injury risk and missed development
from past injuries complicate that projection significantly. Has
a wide range of outcomes, with a significant gap between his
floor and ceiling. Is well behind the development curve due to a
lengthy injury history; still had just 66 professional innings
after three full seasons in the system. Talent-wise, could
easily be the system's top prospect. Has the build of a
workhorse starting pitcher and repeatable mechanics, plus the
makings of a three-pitch mix with his fastball and curveball
both projecting to be at least plus offerings. Could stand to
add a cutter to give hitters another look when he reaches the
Jay Groome video from Lowell (9.2.16)
Scouting Scratch (9.8.16)
Scouting Scratch (9.29.16)
Notes from the Field (3.29.17)
Scouting Scratch - Jay Groome (7.5.17)
Notes from the Field (4.6.18)
State of the System: Mid-Minors Pitchers (4.3.20)
Scouting Report Update (5.27.2020)
Video from Pawtucket (8.4.2020)
Video from Pawtucket (8.10.2020)