Physical Description: Very
large pitcher's frame. Wide, mature upper body and filled-out
lower half. Looks all of his listed height and weight.
Below-average athlete. Height is imposing on the mound. Body
will need maintenance and bears watching as he matures; has had
problems maintaining his conditioning. How his body develops
will depend on how much work he puts in off the field.
Mechanics: Throws from a three-quarters arm
slot. Starts on the first base side from the wind-up.
Medium-effort delivery. Utilizes a high leg lift and is upright
and stiff. Arm action includes a stab behind. 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 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.
90-92 mph. Tops out at 94 mph. Will come out at 92-94 mph, but
settles in after an inning or two at 90-92. Prior to his elbow
injury, would sit 92-94 mph and could dial it up to the 94-96
mph range. Since returning from Tommy John surgery, has yet to
consistently show that velocity. At its best, the pitch gets on
hitters quickly and has life. Still needs to show the ability to
hold velocity deeper into games. Even at diminished velocity,
pitch has shown swing-and-miss potential when commanded.
Potential to develop into an average offering with refined
Curveball: 78-80 mph. 1-to-7
shape. At its best, shows depth and late finish. Feel comes and
goes. When he has it working, can either throw in the zone or
bury down and out of the zone to induce swinging strikes. At its
best pre-surgery, it showed plus potential, but feel and
consistency have not returned. Now projects as an
79-82 mph. Throws with deceptive arm speed the majority of the
time. Shows late drop. Has shown the ability to pull the string
on it and serves as an effective pitch against righties, to whom
he almost exclusively throws it. Has improved and now shows as
much or more potential than curveball. 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. Since return
from surgery, pitch has steadily improved and he has shown more
feel for it. Potential average-to-better offering.
Slider: 82-87 mph. Short, horizontal movement.
Has become more comfortable with it during the 2021 season.
Inconsistent shape and feel. Has shown a willingness to throw it
to both right- and left-handed hitters. First threw the pitch at
2020 Fall Instructional League; pitch has come a long way since
then but is still a work in progress. Potential fringe-average
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. 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 the draft in 2017; with
SoxProspects sources unanimously confirming the former.
Reportedly agreed to a pre-draft deal with the San Diego Padres
at picks 24 and 25, but Red Sox selected him 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. 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.
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. Missed three weeks in July 2021
for birth of his daughter, a break seemingly at least in part
planned to keep his innings down in the first full, healthy
season of his career.
Potential fringe back-end starter, but injury risk and missed
development time complicate that projection. Ceiling of a number
four or five starter. Stuff still is not completely back more
than two years after surgery. Arsenal now includes four pitches
that he is comfortable using, all in the 45-55 range. Lacks a
potential plus pitch. Now a sum-of-all-parts pitcher who will
need to be able to command all his offerings and mix them to be
effective. Conditioning will always be a question and still has
injury question marks, but healthy 2021 has been a positive
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)