Getting to know Red Sox draftee Blaze Jordan

June 17th, 2020

Last week, the Red Sox drafted a certified slugger in Blaze Jordan, who has been hitting mammoth home runs since his early teens.

The 17-year-old graduated from high school a year early so he could join this year’s Draft, and the Red Sox eagerly pounced on him in the third round.

Jordan also got a rare taste of the bright lights for someone his age when he participated in last year’s High School Home Run Derby during the MLB All-Star festivities in Cleveland. caught up with Jordan in a phone interview to discuss his excitement for all that is ahead while also looking back at his unique journey. How did you get the name Blaze? That’s not one you hear every day.

Jordan: My parents just kind of read it out of a magazine. They were going to name me something else before that and then they just went with it from there. So it’s not even a nickname? Your official first name is Blaze?

Jordan: That’s my official name, it’s on my birth certificate and everything. The name actually even sounds like a ballplayer. Blaze Jordan. Don’t you think?

Jordan: Yeah, I like it a lot. I think it’s pretty cool. When did you first realize you had a special ability to hit a baseball far? Do you remember what age you were before you realized you were kind of hitting it farther than all the other kids around you?

Jordan: It was really about when I was 11 and 12 when we started playing kid pitch and all that, and I started hitting really deep home runs that I wasn’t seeing from my teammates or other teams we were playing against. We were playing good teams too, because we would travel to Atlanta and play the good teams.

Kind of around that age, I realized that I had a lot of power and stuff, and I just kept continuing to get more and kept continuing to work harder. I feel like over time, I’ve become a better hitter overall and just a better player rather than just my power. Tell me about this 396-foot drive you hit at the age of 11. This seems almost unheard of.

Jordan: It was at the Texas Rangers’ stadium. I really did surprise myself when I did that, because it hit off the wall close to center field and it was really cool. I don’t know how to explain it because it was kind of a while ago, but I just remember it happening. I really didn’t think I was going to be able to hit a ball that far, but it was really cool when I did. Two years later, in your first year as a teenager, you hit one that measured over 500 feet?

Jordan: I was about to turn 14, but I was still 13 at the time and that was also at the Texas Rangers’ stadium. I hit one over center field above where they put the cars up there. It was a drop-five bat and all that, we could still use them in the games at that age. That was a really cool moment too and I didn’t figure at all I’d be able to do that, but that was super cool. You must have been getting a lot of hype at that time. What was that like and was it hard to deal with?

Jordan: I started getting a lot of attention around that time and it was kind of a little bit stressful, especially being at that young age. Because every time I walked in the ballpark, everyone knew who I was, so all of a sudden you get pitched differently. There’s just a lot of pressure put on. But I think it’s helped me get to where I am today and just getting used to the pressure that comes with all this at this moment. You committed to Mississippi State at a really young age. What were you, 15?

Jordan: I was actually 13 when I committed to go there. That was a crazy process. I was going to all these camps at all these big SEC schools, and visited a lot of other schools, and I had a lot of interest from other schools. When I went down to Mississippi State, I just kind of felt like I was at home as I walked [into] their stadium. It was a stressful process, but I think I definitely made the right college choice at that moment. So you have two great options: the Red Sox or Mississippi State. Safe to say going pro is your preferred choice at this point?

Jordan: Nothing’s really finalized yet. I’ve still got to talk to my family advisor about everything. We’ll just have to see. There was a special on you as part of a series called “No Days Off” from the summer of 2018 and posted on YouTube. It got over 4 million page views. What did that do for you?

Jordan: That was really cool. It was just something that someone came to us to do and we just decided to do it. We didn’t really mean for it to take off like it did, but it just kind of did. It’s really cool, because a lot of my friends watched it and it let people know who I am. I had no clue it would get that many page views, but just kind of went with it when it did. Last year, you had the thrill of participating in the High School Home Run Derby in Cleveland during the MLB All-Star festivities and you won it. What was that whole experience like?

Jordan: That was one of the best baseball moments I’ve ever had, especially hitting in front of the full packed stadium in Cleveland and being with all the MLB guys and all that. [It was fun] being able to talk to a few of them and just being able to go out there and do what I did, and I had a lot of fun there.

I had a little bit of nerves going into it because of how many people were there. But once I got in the box, I was kind of zoned in and everything. It ended up working out and it was really cool to go against [D-backs Draft pick] A.J. Vukovich and it was a great experience. You got to interact with Major League stars that night. What really sticks out to you looking back on it?

Jordan: I got to take a picture with Mike Trout and that was super cool. I was sitting right near Nolan Arenado and all them. But probably the coolest moment was after I won the Home Run Derby, I took that picture with Mookie Betts and then we gave each other that hug. That was a really cool moment right there. I really enjoyed that. What has your experience been like playing with wooden bats?

Jordan: I’ve actually been playing with a wood bat since I was about 13. I played up when I was 13 on a 17-year-old team with my brother, and we were using wooden bats back then. I played in Jupiter, Fla., when I was 13. I’ve probably played wood bats more than I have aluminum bats. In my opinion, I’d rather swing a wood bat. I feel like I actually hit better with wood. You obviously made some headlines when you moved up to the Class of 2020 so you could graduate a year earlier and be eligible for this year’s Draft at 17 years old. You said Tim Dulin of the Dulins Dodgers, which is a renowned travel team for elite high school players in the Southeast that you played for, first brought that to you?

Jordan: Yeah, Tim brought it to my parents and then my parents came to me and told me I could do it because I had enough credits, I was able to get all my classes done. On the baseball side of it, I knew I was ready for it, because I’ve been playing up my whole life and I’m ready to take that next step. Whether it was going to play in the SEC or going to play professional baseball, I just know I was ready to take that next step. Going into this Draft, what was your expectation of when you might get picked?

Jordan: I really didn’t have many. I was just trying to stay in the moment, because I know a lot of kids would love to be in that situation that I was in, and I was just lucky enough to hear my name called by a great organization like the Boston Red Sox. They’ve got a lot of history with them. That was just a really cool moment and it’s one that I’ve dreamed of basically my whole life. I wouldn’t say I had like any super high expectations or anything. I just went into it and was just trying to enjoy the moment. I know sometimes you get annoyed when you are pigeon-holed into just being a big slugger who hits mammoth home runs. How much pride do you take in your overall hitting ability?

Jordan: When the power is the best for me is when I’m staying as simple as I can and just barreling up everything. I think what helps me is I can spray the ball to all fields, and I have power to all fields and I showed that in my BP rounds and showed that in the games. Where do you get all your strength? Is it natural, or are you big on the weights?

Jordan: I’ve always been kind of naturally strong. I’ve been getting in the gym ever since I was a freshman. I’ve just continued to get in there more and more, which has helped transform my body and become more of an athlete now instead of just a hitter. How do you best explain what your emotions have been since you were drafted a week ago?

Jordan: I’ve been super excited and it still doesn’t seem real.