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Q&A with Blue Jays prospect Jordan Groshans

@JimCallisMLB
March 19, 2020

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- One of the best all-around hitters in the 2018 Draft, shortstop Jordan Groshans went 12th overall in the first round and signed with the Blue Jays for $3.4 million. Two rounds later, Toronto took his Magnolia (Texas) High teammate Adam Kloffenstein and signed the right-hander for $2.45

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- One of the best all-around hitters in the 2018 Draft, shortstop Jordan Groshans went 12th overall in the first round and signed with the Blue Jays for $3.4 million. Two rounds later, Toronto took his Magnolia (Texas) High teammate Adam Kloffenstein and signed the right-hander for $2.45 million. Groshans got off to a hot start in 2019 at Class A Lansing, batting .337/.427/.482 in 23 games, but a left foot injury ended his season in mid-May.

This interview was conducted before Spring Training was suspended.

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MLB.com: Jordan, what was the Draft process like for you? Unlike a lot of guys, you got to go through it with somebody who was going through the same thing at the same time in Adam Kloffenstein on your Magnolia High team. What was it like going through the process with somebody like that?

Groshans: It was fun, being able to have someone that you've grown up with and been around every day helped ease the process, made the transition a lot easier. Having him there then and especially here now has been a big help.

MLB.com: Were you guys able to compare notes, having someone going through the same thing you were, talking to scouts, filling out cards?

Groshans: The way they would do it was since we lived so close, they'd meet with me first and then go meet with him. It was really cool because I'd be like, "Hey, how'd your meeting go?" I'd tell him what were the questions asked, and vice versa, that kind of stuff. We both had an idea before each meeting what we were getting into, how we needed to go about it and approach each question.

MLB.com: In terms of the Draft, when did you find out the Blue Jays were going to take you and when did you find out they were going to take Adam too? I'm sure you talked about it some, but did you guys really think you were going to wind up in the same organization?

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Groshans: I didn't know they were going to take me until the 10th pick, so I was kind of nervous about that. You know how it works, you don't really know anything for sure. Having him go the next day was pretty cool. I kind of had an idea. They called me and asked me my opinion about it if they think they could get him. So when they knew the could get him, I was there, I was with him. It was cool to experience the journey and the process all the way together and to be able to make the transition together.

MLB.com: Speaking of your Draft experience, were you able to help your brother at all last year? [Jaxx Groshans, a catcher at Kansas, went in the fifth round to the Red Sox.] He wasn't going through a lot of that coming out of high school, right?

Groshans: He had decent looks in high school. College was definitely the way for him. He did really good. Helping him kind of experience it better and enjoy it, I would say was what I helped with. Not worry about it, don't put pressure on yourself, stuff like that. At the end of the day, it's just a game. So I tried to help ease the process for him, not make him tense up, get frustrated.

MLB.com: Will you actually get a chance to see him down here in Spring Training?

Groshans: I actually saw him last week. We played golf together. It's cool because he's only two hours away in Fort Myers.

MLB.com: How frustrating was the injury to go through? From the outside, it didn't seem like initially you were going to miss the whole year, and then it just kept getting longer and longer. When did you finally find out you were done for the year?

Groshans: The plan was to build me back up and I was actually getting ready to go back in August. It didn't work out and started bothering me again, so at that point they just told me, "We're not going to worry about rushing you back and end up doing some permanent damage." So they just gave me the year off and said take the offseason, take your time, get healthy and get ready to bang in 2020.

MLB.com: Was the pain increasing early in the year? You were obviously having a very good season, so it didn't seem like it was affecting your performance at the plate at all.

Groshans: It was one of those things where it wasn't a consistent problem. It was just one of those things where every once in a while it would pop up on me and hurt. I just told them at the end of the day, I don't want to be on the field if I'm playing at 60 percent. They flew me down here, got everything taken care of and we're on the right track.

MLB.com: How tough is it to go through that when the season's going on and probably the first time in a while you weren't playing baseball during the summer?

Groshans: I think it was eight months, eight or nine months I went through. It's obviously bad because it's rehab and nobody wants to do it. But at the same time, I learned a lot from it, matured a lot from it, learned my body more and the routines I need to get better, especially to play at the next level. So there were a lot of good things that came out of it.

MLB.com: You've hit pretty successfully in the time you've been in pro ball. Have you had to change much about your approach or your swing or anything?

Groshans: My swing, no, I've tried to keep that the same. The only thing that I would say I've changed is my approach. My plate discipline has been really good. Just knowing what certain guys like to throw in certain counts, stuff like that has helped a lot. Just sticking to myself, sticking to the same stuff I did when I was in high school, sticking to what got me here. Everything's working.

MLB.com: Do you see yourself as more of a hitter than a slugger or more of a slugger than a hitter? How do you view yourself if you were breaking yourself down as a hitter?

Groshans: People ask me that. I honestly think I'm kind of in between. I'll hit for power but I'll also hit for average, and that's something I think I can pride myself on in my game. And that's what I'm going to try to do this year. Obviously, have a healthy year, be strong, put up some power numbers but also do the same thing I did last year and hit for average.

MLB.com: Like a lot of bigger guys, you've probably heard, "Can he stay at shortstop? Is he more of a third baseman?" Bo Bichette, same thing when he was coming out of high school. How much time do you spend working on your defense and how much does it matter to you to be a shortstop versus a third baseman?

Groshans: I work on it every day. It's one of those things where as of right now, I'm on path to stay at short. It's good because Bo has been really helpful. I've talked to him a couple of times about what it takes to play good defense at the higher levels and Vladdy [Guerrero Jr.] too. So I get my work in at short and at third too, just in case in the future they want to put me there. This year's going to be really good for defense and I'm really excited about it.

MLB.com: Once you got your foot healthy, what did you spend your offseason working on to prepare yourself for this year?

Groshans: Mostly just being flexible, being able to move quicker, faster. I lost a little bit of body fat, put some muscle on just to try and get stronger. I actually feel lighter, faster and stronger than I did last year. That was my biggest goal, to make my body the best that it could be, flexible and healthy as possible.

MLB.com: After what you went through last year, how much are you looking forward to 2020 and what goals do you have for yourself this year?

Groshans: This year is a big year. Obviously, the main goal is to stay healthy and play a full year. Besides that, just be a good teammate, be that guy that everyone wants to play with. I have very, very high expectations of myself this year because of the time that I missed. I want to make up for that and do really well. Doing all those things, doing the right things, I think this year will be really good for me.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.