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Self scouting report: Blue Jays' Jordan Groshans

@baseballexis
June 30, 2020

Jordan Groshans is making the most of an uncertain time, and creating opportunities for himself where there aren’t many. Toronto’s No. 2 prospect -- and No. 75 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list -- was sidelined early last season with a foot injury, getting into only 23 games in

Jordan Groshans is making the most of an uncertain time, and creating opportunities for himself where there aren’t many.

Toronto’s No. 2 prospect -- and No. 75 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list -- was sidelined early last season with a foot injury, getting into only 23 games in what should have been his first full season as a professional. Groshans impressed in that short sample, slashing .337/.427/.482 with two homers, six doubles, 12 runs scored and 13 driven in, leaving many wanting to see more of the young shortstop.

But while the coronavirus pandemic has his in-game progress on hold, the Blue Jays' top pick in the 2018 Draft -- selected No. 12 overall -- sees plenty of opportunity to get better.

“Since I got hurt last year, it’s extra time for me off my feet, even more time for everything to heal,” Groshans said. “I’m already 100 percent but I want to be 150 percent. I’m taking it as a high note because it’s good to work on things. I like working with others, but I also like to work on things alone because I feel like I’m more focused.”

Focused on the future, Groshans offered some insight into what that might hold, evaluating himself using a Major League Scouting Bureau report and the 20-to-80 scouting scale, basing his grades on the standards set by the Bureau.

Top tools
As a whole, Groshans’ future grades amount to the personification of a future Hall of Fame-calibre player, because that’s exactly what he plans on becoming.

“It’s self-dedication,” the native of Magnolia, Texas said. “[Improving] is hard to do in the season because there are so many games and there are so many different things to work on. The offseason, when you’re home by yourself, it’s a good time, like right now I’m working on three or four different things. The down time is a special time and a good time for fine tuning, which is what it will take.”

Among the array of above-average grades, Groshans offered the highest possible future numbers in his aggressiveness and his arm accuracy, with the belief that both tools are already premium offerings and that he can consistently continue to bring those 80s to the table.

“The aggressiveness is more about hitting, because I don’t walk a lot and I don’t strike out a lot, so that’s why I put it so high,” he said. “Everything I do in baseball is aggressive. When I go up to the plate, I don’t go up there trying to hit a single. … And accuracy, ever since I got to pro ball, I’ve been working with Danny Solano, our infield coordinator, on footwork and everything, and I made one or two changes fielding the ball with my arm action, and I don’t think I’ve made an error since my first year.”

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Room for improvement
Groshans made the biggest jump from present to future grades in his fielding ability, with an average evaluation of the tool now and an opportunity to become well above average on defence.

“Just working more with my fielding coordinator will help me do that,” he said. “My first year I was an average Minor Leaguer in errors, and then last year I didn’t make as many. So every year I work with him, I continue to get better. The drills he works with me on can help fine tune that and get me to where I need to be.”

Scouting the scout
While Groshans had some familiarity with scouting reports and the grading scale ahead of going through this report in particular, he noted, “I’m going to give you my honest answers -- it might not be what MLB Pipeline thinks of me, I’m going to give you what I think. It’s not me trying to be cocky, this is me confident in my ability.”

The young infielder has crossed paths with many rankings throughout his time in baseball, but never paid any mind to them because he’s always had an understanding of what he’s needed to do in order to succeed and has no doubt that that’s exactly what he will do.

“Since I was a little kid, I’ve had a passion and the dream to be a big leaguer, live a long, happy life, have a great career in the big leagues, and be someone who people remember,” Groshans said. “That’s embedded in my brain every day when I go and work out, throw, field, lift -- I demand excellence from myself and that’s what helps me. … The goal is to be a big leaguer and a Hall of Famer.”

What the scouts say
“He’s a good-looking player,” one American League evaluator said. “He has good size and strength, plus bat speed and he’s quick to the ball. The ball jumps off his bat, he has the ability to go the other way, and there’s plus power in his future. His strike zone awareness is impressive and the strikeout numbers are likely to come down. He’s probably more suited for third base than shortstop, but he has soft hands and a solid-average arm. He has great instincts for the game, he’s young, he’s got size and he’s athletic.”

What's missing
“Personality, makeup,” Groshans said of what this particular report does not provide insight into. “There are a lot of people in the game who are very schooled and very skilled, but no one wants a bad teammate, no one wants a guy who’s selfish. And I know to a lot of people I sound like I’m like that, like I’m all about myself, but I’m not, I’m just confident in my ability and I demand excellence from myself, and I’m really hard on myself.

"I take everything very seriously when it comes to work. So a kid who has good makeup and a good personality and cuts up and jokes, but also knows when to take it seriously, that’s something people wouldn’t get from this. That’s not something you can write down on a piece of paper; that’s something you’ve got to see.”

Alexis Brudnicki is a reporter for Baseball Development and Special Projects for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @baseballexis.