The Boston Red Sox have finally reached a deal with left-handed pitcher Jason Groome, and just in time. The Red Sox selected Groome with the 12th overall pick in the 2016 June Amateur Draft, and Friday represented the deadline to sign draft picks. Groome arrived in Boston on Thursday for a physical ahead of signing his deal.
red sox, jason groome have a deal. $3.65M pending physical.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 14, 2016
Jason Groome Signs with Boston Red Sox
The 17-year-old out of Barnegat High School in New Jersey earned wide consideration as one of the top available talents entering this year’s draft. Many believed he could have even been the first overall selection. However, worries about Groome’s makeup and maturity, as well as the money he sought, caused him to slip to Boston at twelve.
Though analysts praised the selection as a steal at the time, concerns soon arose that the Red Sox would be unable to sign Groome. Rumors surfaced that Groome was unhappy that Boston took him, and that he had a deal for more money in place with a team picking after the Sox.
Boston had $6,997,400 available for draft signing bonuses. Groome’s pick slot was assigned a value of $3,192,800, well below the amount he was looking for. However, because the Red Sox saved money when signing some of their other draft picks, they had the resources left over for the kind of contract Groome wanted.
Assuming Groome’s maturity issues, whatever they may be, do not hold him back, he could be a special pitcher one day. He has drawn comparisons to Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, which few other pitchers can claim.
He throws and outstanding curveball and a fastball that tops out at 97 MPH. As he grows, that could reach triple digits. His delivery is polished and repeatable, meaning he could move through the minors quickly. Groome may be the newest prospect in the Red Sox farm system, but he already merits keeping an eye on. He now essentially replaces Anderson Espinoza, recently traded to the San Diego Padres for Drew Pomeranz. In him and fellow prospect Michael Kopech, who can hit 105 MPH on the radar gun, Boston has two special pitching talents working their way through the minors.