Jay Groome Greenville Drive Pitcher

Age: 22
Born: August 23, 1998
Birthplace: Toms River, NJ
Height: 6-6
Weight: 260
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 1st round, 2016 by BOS
How Acquired: Draft
College: (Chipola JC commit)
High School: Barnegat (NJ)
ETA: Late 2023

Photo © Kelly O'Connor
Jay Groome photos by Kelly O'Connor
Pronunciation: ---
First Pro Contract: July 15, 2016 (BOS)
Signing Scout: Ray Fagnant
Signing Bonus: $3,650,000
Rule 5 Draft Eligible: N/A
MLFA Eligible: N/A
Pro Debut: August 22, 2016 (GCL)
Added to 40-man: November 20, 2020
MLB Debut: -
Service Time (1/21): 0 days
Options Remaining: 3 (0 used)
Contract (2021): ~League Minimum
Twitter: @jaygroome55
Instagram: @jaygroome

  Scouting Report & Links      
  Physical Description: Very large pitcher's frame. Wide, mature upper body and filled-out lower half. Looks all of his listed height and weight. Average athlete. Height is imposing on the mound. Body will need maintenance and bears watching as he matures; has already had problems maintaining his conditioning. 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 down, but returned to the mound in 2020 in noticeably worse shape.

Mechanics: Medium-effort delivery. Throws from a high three-quarters arm slot. Starts on the third base side from the wind-up. 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 is upright and stiff. Hides the ball briefly when he brings it behind his back and then again behind his head as he comes forward. Delivery is inconsistent and has gotten noticeably stiffer as his athleticism and coordination have regressed. Has trouble getting his arm in sync with the rest of his delivery. Has a tendency to open up his front side early while his arm lags behind and comes through late. When arm is out ahead, will miss up to the glove side; when it drags behind, tends to miss arm-side.

Fastball: Sits 90-92 mph. Prior to his elbow injury, would sit 92-94 mph and could dial it up to the 94-96 mph range at times. Since returning from Tommy John surgery, has yet to consistently show that kind of velocity. When at its best, the pitch gets on hitters quick and has life. Still 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. At present, shows potential to develop into an average offering, but could become an above-average-to-plus pitch if his pre-surgery form returns.

Curveball: 76-79 mph. Was mostly 79-83 mph prior to his surgery, but had been as high as 85 pmh and as low as 75 mph. 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 slurvy at higher velocities but retained its longer, more vertical shape at lower velocities. At its best, shows plus and has the potential to become a plus-plus offering with improved consistency, but that he was still trying to regain feel for the pitch a year-and-a-half after his surgery is concerning.

Changeup: 80-83 mph. In the past was 83-85 mph. Clear third offering that is still developing. Did not throw much in high school or in 2016. Began to incorporate it more in 2017 as a work-in-progress as he tried to develop feel. At times will show average 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. Does not throw with consistent arm speed. Average potential, but will take some time to develop. Has not shown much feel or used the pitch often since his return from surgery.

  Slider: 82-87 mph. New pitch debuted at Fall Instructional League in 2020. Short, horizontal movement. Showed decent feel, but release is inconsistent. Has the tendency to leave over the plate far too often. Still a work in progress. Is not very effective right now.

Career Notes: Was ranked by some outlets as the top talent in the 2016 draft class, but fell due to signability and makeup concerns. 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. Committed to Vanderbilt initially, but commitment changed to Chipola (Fla.) Junior College the week of the draft. Conflicting reports said either Vanderbilt pulled his offer or Groome recommitted to potentially allow him to re-enter draft in 2017; SoxProspects sources have unanimously confirmed the former. Reportedly agreed to a pre-draft deal with the San Diego Padres, who had picks number 24 and 25, but Red Sox selected him 12th anyway and signed him for $457,200 over slot. Red Sox were reportedly 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, although he had visibly filled back out in 2020. Pitched at the Alternate Training Site in 2020 against much older hitters. Participated in 2016 and 2020 Fall Instructional League. Was added to the 40-man roster during the 2020-21 offseason to protect him from selection in the Rule 5 Draft despite still having just 66 professional innings pitched.

Summation: Potential fringe back-end starter, but injury risk and copious missed development time complicate that projection significantly. Ceiling is higher, closer to a mid-rotation type. Has a wide range of outcomes, with a significant gap between his floor and ceiling. On raw talent and the arsenal he showed prior to surgery, he could be one of the top prospects in the system. However, is well behind the development curve due to his lengthy injury history. Also, stuff has yet to return to pre-surgery levels. Re-discovering his velocity and the bite and consistency on his curveball are key for him to retain his prospect value, as will staying healthy, both to make up for lost development time and to simply prove he can do so.

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)
Scout Chatter (11.19.20)
    Pitching Stats                                          
  year team lg level org age w l % era g gs sv ip h r er hr bb so whip k/bb k/9
2014 Barnegat --- HS --- 15 6 2 --- 0.57 --- --- --- 61.1 --- --- --- --- --- 107 --- --- 15.70
  2015 IMG Academy --- HS --- 16 5 0 1.000 1.22 8 8 0 43.0 --- --- --- --- 9 81 --- 9.00 16.95
  2016 Barnegat --- HS --- 17 2 3 0.200 0.77 --- --- --- 39.2 15 --- --- --- --- 90 --- --- 20.42
  2016 GCL Red Sox GCL Rk Bos 17 0 0 --- 2.25 2 2 0 4.0 3 1 1 0 0 8 0.75 --- 18.00
  2016 Lowell NYPL A- Bos 17 0 0 --- 3.37 1 1 0 2.2 0 1 1 0 4 2 1.50 0.50 6.75
  2017 Lowell NYPL A- Bos 18 0 2 0.000 1.64 3 3 0 11.0 5 4 2 0 5 14 0.91 2.80 11.45
  2017 Greenville SAL A Bos 18 3 7 0.300 6.70 11 11 0 44.1 44 34 33 6 25 58 1.56 2.32 11.77
  2018 DNP-Injured --- --- Bos 19 --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
  2019 GCL Red Sox GCL Rk Bos 20 0 0 --- 0.00 2 2 0 2.0 2 0 0 0 0 3 1.00 --- 13.50
  2019 Lowell NYPL A- Bos 20 0 0 --- 4.50 1 1 0 2.0 3 1 1 0 1 3 2.00 3.00 13.50
  2020 Season Cancelled --- --- Bos 21 --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
    2021 Stats                                          
  year team lg level org age w l % era g gs sv ip h r er hr bb so whip k/bb k/9
2021 Greenville HAE A+ Bos 22     stats                            
  Advanced Stats & Splits
  Awards   SoxProspects.com Awards  
  South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week (July 31 - August 6, 2017)   2017 SoxProspects.com Pre-Season All-Star
SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week (July 31 - August 6, 2017)
2018 SoxProspects.com Pre-Season All-Star
2020 SoxProspects.com Pre-Season All-Star

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