After being drafted in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Jay Groome has not had an easy start to his career. The New Jersey native has battled injuries while being limited to just 40 games in five minor league seasons. However, he has flashed the talent that made him an elite high school arm over the past two weeks. As the Boston Red Sox try to secure a playoff spot, Groome has been lights out for the Portland Sea Dogs.
In 20 starts this year between Greenville and Portland, Groome has posted a 4.66 ERA. However, since being promoted to Portland, he has not allowed a run in 11 innings of work. The 23-year-old has also struck out 19 batters and has only allowed four hits. Groome has been dominant with his new team, despite the increased competition. He also carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning during his last start.
Additionally, in his latest start, 61 of Groome’s 84 pitches were strikes. The talented lefty also got six-swinging strikeouts as his strong finish to the 2021 campaign continued. Although the Barnegat High School product has posted a 4.88 ERA in the minors, he’s starting to reward the Red Sox for their patience.
2 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts and 18 whiffs for Jay Groome in 6 innings tonight as he continues his impressive run. pic.twitter.com/mzUMxSwpOM
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) July 3, 2021
Through his first two weeks with the Sea Dogs, Groome has been a different pitcher. He has posted a 48.7% strikeout percentage with a walk percentage under three. The Red Sox ninth-best prospect has pitched out of trouble and has shown more confidence on the mound. In September, Groome has held opponents to a .108 batting average. With an improved slider, Groome has started to rise in the system.
Expectations for Groome
While Groome has dealt with a lot of adversity, he still has a high ceiling. His fastball reaches the mid-nineties, and his curveball has been above average. In a farm system full of talent, the 2016 draftee is Boston’s fourth-best pitching prospect. With a new four-pitch mix, Groome has shown why he was a first-round pick.
With the minor league season nearly over, Groome is pitching as good as he ever has as a pro. For the first time since being drafted, he has made more than 14 starts in a season and nearly doubled his workload from 2017. While the question marks remain, his performance in September has provided excitement for the future. In 2022, he will be a prospect to watch as he gets closer to the majors.
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Main Image Credit: From Google Images