Here are the numbers of two players from their age 19 and 20 minor league seasons:
Player A: 19 – .303/.380/.407 20 – .276/.338/.389
Player B: 19 – .337/.427/. 482 20 – .291/.360/.407
One of those players, as you’ve no doubt guessed, is Jordan Groshans, the Blue Jays 2018 1st round pick. The other is four-time All Star Francisco Lindor. Groshans is “B”; the comparison was pointed out by a Blue Jays front office staffer this summer.
Does this mean that Groshans will go on to be an award-winning short stop? Not necessarily, but the comparison does show that maybe Groshans, whose 2021 some people expressed disappointment in, is right on track.
Groshans turned a lot of heads in 2019 with his first six weeks of play at Lansing. His defensive performance was a work in progress, but his bat looked legit – the sound of the ball off his bat was loud, and there he was barreling up Low A pitching just ten months removed from high school ball. Plantar fasciitis, a pain in the foot for anyone who has suffered from it, sidelined him for the rest of that season, and like everyone else, Groshans didn’t play in 2020.
When you consider that, along with the fact that he was skipped to AA at the tender age of 20, he hadn’t played since early May of 2019, well…Groshans made excellent progress this year.
There are many, many things to like about Groshans. Anyone you talk to in the organization raves about his work ethic, and his willingness to put in the effort to get better. At the plate, he made some adjustments compared to 2019 with his swing. Groshans has quick hands that translate into plus bat speed, and a patient approach that lets him grind out ABs to find a pitch he can drive.
On the defensive side, there is still work to be done, but Groshans shows a number of positive elements on plays like this:
Yes, Groshans probably will move over to 3rd before too long, but he has made progress since his days at Lansing, when his rawness as a defender was obvious. He has a plus arm in terms of strength and accuracy to make those throws across the diamond.
Snippets of scouting reports….
1. Prospects Live:
Groshans has the ingredients of a potential middle of lineup bat capable of hitting for both average and power. The eventual move to third should yield a solid average defender with a plus arm. The profile has some additional value as there’s likely some defensive versatility. Overall Groshans should continue to mature physically and evolve into an above-average first-division regular.
2. Baseball America:
Groshans stands out for his feel for hitting. He can square up good fastballs, adjust to offspeed pitches and has good strike-zone judgement with an approach that allows him to use the whole field. He tightened his swing by condensing some of the bigger movements he had previously, which helped him stay more under control rather than trying to cheat to get to more power. Figuring out how to tap back into more game power will be critical for Groshans, who probably ends up at third base. Some evaluators are skeptical that his bat speed and approach will ever result in big power numbers, while others think he could get to average or better power. Groshans has a plus arm and improved defensively in New Hampshire, but his quickness and range are better suited for third base, where he spent around one-third of his defensive innings in 2021.
Groshans undoubtedly will move up to Buffalo this season, and it will be interesting to see if he gets more reps at 3rd. After playing on 75 games this year as the Blue Jays eased him back into the lineup, it will also be noteworthy to see what his durability is like. A spot on the 40 man will happen, likely at the end of the season – it’s worth keeping in mind Groshans just turned 22 a month ago.