Concerns about his character led former Barnegat High School pitcher Jason Groome to fall to 12th in last June’s Major League Baseball Draft. There is no anxiety about his talent, however.
Groom, who was taken in the 12th round by the Boston Red Sox, was named the No. 2 left-handed pitching prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com.
Groome, 18, a 6-foot-5, 225-pounder with a fastball in the mid-90s and major-league ready curveball, is ranked only behind Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers. Hader, who will be 23 in April. Hader was originally selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 19th round of the 2012 draft.
In its analysis of Groome, MLB.com wrote:
“The phenom from southern New Jersey slid a bit in the 2016 Draft because of some off-the-field and signability concerns. Groome will get his pro career started in earnest this year after dipping his toes in with 6 2/3 innings last season. He still has perhaps the best combination of stuff, upside and command of any arm in his class.”