Top 2016 MLB Draft Prospect Jason Groome has been ruled ineligible for high school baseball activities until further notice. The 17 year old standout left-handed pitcher was said to have violated New Jersey transfer laws.
Groome transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida for his junior season. For IMG, the then 16 year old compiled a 5-0 record in 8 starts with a 0.98 ERA. Also fanning 77 batters in 43 innings of work with only nine walks. Over 47% of the total batters that stepped into the batter’s box against Groome struck out during the 2015 season. After transferring from Barnegat High School in New Jersey to IMG for a stellar junior campaign, the 6’6” lefty decided to transfer back home in order to play one last season with his friends. And that move back to New Jersey has put him in hot water.
Although not all is lost for his much anticipated senior season, Groome can return as early as April 24th, according to Barnegat coach Dan McCoy. Jason Groome will most likely be the first overall pick at the upcoming 2016 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. For the record, I really respect the fact that since his draft stock was set for the most part, he wanted to finish his high school career alongside his childhood teammates.
Now for a quick prospect spotlight of Jason Groome since he would’ve been a top five MLB prospect in my top prospect article last week if he had already been drafted.
Jason Groome- Starting Pitcher, Barnegat Bengals
Age: 17 / Throws: Left / Bats: Left / Height: 6’6” / Weight: 223 / Commitment: Vanderbilt
Groome boasts a three pitch arsenal with a mid-to-high nineties plus-fastball, a knee-buckling plus-plus curveball and a work-in-progress circle-changeup. Jason Groome will be the Phillies next great starter and it seems only fitting that he pitches quite similarly to former Phillie Cole Hamels. Groome has the potential to be much better than Hamels since Hamels relied and still relies on an above-average circle-changeup to complement his fastball and curveball while Groome has the possibility to have three above-average pitches at his disposal. The ineligibility of Groome’s play in NJ shouldn’t hurt his draft stock at all since Riley Pint, the next best high school pitching prospect can throw a fastball threw a brick wall but not much else as of right now (MLB Comparison: Sonny Gray). Groome, the Vanderbilt commit struck out 19 of 22 batters in his no-hitter last week… average, I guess. Groome’s two starts this season for the Barnegat Bengals will be erased along with his stats but it won’t be a big problem because after April 24th there will be many more video game performances just like that one.
Major League Comparison: Barry Zito
High School Statistics via MaxPreps
Barnegat Coach Statement via NJ High School Sports
Cover Photo via MaxPreps
Secondary Photo via CSN Philly
GIF via The Good Phight