Jays From the Couch turns the spotlight on the Toronto Blue Jays’ highly regarded infield prospect, Jordan Groshans
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The Toronto Blue Jays came out of the Trade Deadline with Jordan Groshans still in the organization, which may provide a clue as to how they see the young infielder. The 12th pick in the 2018 draft will soon be 22 years old and is having a nice year in AA New Hampshire.
After 2019 saw him in just 23 games due to a foot injury and 2020 cancelled the minor league season, it was not very clear what the Blue Jays could expect from Groshans this season. But, splitting his time between third base and short, the youngster is inserting himself into the conversation about the club’s future plans.
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The MLB scouting report is as follows with Groshans: “Groshans has all the raw ingredients to become a plus hitter with plus game power. The ball jumps off his right-handed bat because he combines a balanced swing with plus bat speed and a knack for barreling the baseball. He consistently hits hard line drives with backspin carry to all fields, has no problem turning around quality velocity and employs an approach that’s advanced for his age.”
The Blue Jays certainly love guys with bat speed as evidenced by their current stars Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. And,a s we’ve seen this year, they are improving their hitters’ approach at the plate. For Groshans, his plate performance has resulted in a guy who can get on base and put the bat on the ball. That said, the game power has yet to develop, but that is typically the last part of the game to come. Fangraphs ranks his power at 60/70 and his game power at 35/60, so it is not surprising to see the home run totals where they are. And, at his age, he has time to develop that final piece to his game.
On the defensive side of things, Groshans has seen action at short (36 games) and third (16 games). He’s also seen 9 games at DH and 1 at first base. With him getting more time at short, the organization could feel that it is an opportunity for him to make up for lost time and work on his defensive skills. He has good hands and a strong arm (MLB rates it a 60 out of 80), though, so his future is likely at the hot corner for Toronto.
This is where the real interesting part of his development comes into play. Consider the following from MLB: “many evaluators believe that his size and actions make him better suited for third base at the highest level. He has the type of hitting ability and power needed to profile there, with the potential to develop into a middle-of-the-order run producer.” If he lives up to that, it is easy to see why Toronto held on to him at the Trade Deadline.
If the 2021 season has shown us anything, it is that a) Bo Bichette has cemented himself as the everyday short stop and b) the big league club has a need for an everyday third baseman. It isn’t Cavan Biggio and, while he has done an admiral job, it isn’t Santiago Espinal either. However, none of this means that Groshans is the automatic answer in 2022. He is still the victim of missing a significant amount of time of ‘in game’ development and has a bit more seasoning to go.
What is likely is Toronto pursues a place holder at the hot corner for a year (maybe two) before handing the job over to Groshans full time. He may get a call up next season, but we shouldn’t expect to see him any time soon. Of course, there is always the posisbility that he is dealt in the offseason for some kind of big time return. We once thought Austin Martin to be untouchable, so it could happen. But, with no clear answer at third, it would be shocking to see Groshans dealt.
Instead, look to Groshans to develop into the Blue Jays’ third baseman of the future and work toward becoming that middle of the order bat, which is pretty exciting to think about considering Toronto’s lineup as it is currently.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.