Person of Interest: Blue Jays’ 2018 first-round pick Jordan Groshans

Ben Nicholson-Smith spoke with Evanka Osmak to discuss the Toronto Blue Jays' pick in the MLB Draft.

Over the years, the Toronto Blue Jays have drafted 13 shortstops in the first round, including complete busts like Tom Goffena, who never made it past Class A after becoming the franchise’s first ever amateur draft pick, and legitimate successes like Aaron Hill, who hit 96 home runs with Toronto.

It’ll take years before we can safely assess Jordan Groshans, but the high school shortstop could become a “middle of the lineup” hitter at the MLB level, according to amateur scouting director Steve Sanders. The Blue Jays reached that conclusion after watching Groshans closely dating back to last summer and getting to know him personally. Still, the 18-year-old has a long way to go before reaching the majors, let alone realizing his potential as an impact big-league bat.

In the meantime, here’s some essential information on the Blue Jays’ 12th overall pick…

Name: Jordan Groshans
Position: SS
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Age: 18
Height: 6’4″ | Weight: 180 lbs.
Pick value: $4,200,900

Even at 18 years old, Groshans has shown an advanced hitting approach that’s impressed the Blue Jays.

“We just feel Jordan has a lot of the attributes we look for both in his swing and his combination of contact, power, plate discipline,” Sanders said. “He’s got a great feel and approach in the box. He’s able to drive the ball to all fields. We’re confident that his offensive ability will translate with wood to the next level.”

The Blue Jays aren’t alone in liking Groshans’ bat, as’s Callis wrote that he has “some of the best raw power in this draft.”

Groshans has committed to playing college baseball at the University of Kansas, where his brother Jaxx catches. In theory that gives him some leverage, but in reality teams don’t draft elite players without first determining their signability. On Monday night, the Blue Jays didn’t seem worried about the challenge of luring their top pick away from his college commitment.

“We’re certainly confident that we’re going to work something out,” Sanders said.

The 12th overall pick comes with a value of, $4,200,900 – more than half of the value of the Blue Jays’ total bonus pool of $7,982,100.

While there’s plenty of optimism surrounding Groshans’ bat, he “projects as a third baseman in the long run,” according to Callis. Given that the Blue Jays have shortstops Bo Bichette, Logan Warmoth and Kevin Smith working their way through the minors, there’s no shortage of potential at the position elsewhere in the system.

That said, you can never have enough shortstops, and the Blue Jays have been impressed with Groshans’ athleticism, so they intend to develop him as a shortstop and adjust if necessary.

“Jordan is a shortstop and we certainly plan to give him opportunities to play there,” Sanders said. “He’s certainly capable and has the skills to go out and play short … We’ve seen him play some third base over the summer. Like a lot of guys, that (decision) is probably something that will be played out over time.

“Jordan’s a big kid, certainly for a shortstop, but for being a bigger guy he moves really well,” Sanders added.


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