As part of MLBPipeline.com's visit to all 30 Spring Training facilities, we'll be sitting down with prospects and getting to know them a little better. At Red Sox camp, it was No. 3 prospect Jay Groome.FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jay Groome was the first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2016,
As part of MLBPipeline.com's visit to all 30 Spring Training facilities, we'll be sitting down with prospects and getting to know them a little better. At Red Sox camp, it was No. 3 prospect Jay Groome.
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jay Groome was the first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2016, taken No. 12 overall. Ranked as the top overall talent in the Draft class of 2016, Groome came out of the New Jersey high school ranks and threw sparingly during his pro debut, with 6 2/3 total innings. The left-hander comes in at No. 41 overall on the list of Top 100 prospects in baseball.
MLBPipeline.com: This is your first Spring Training. How has this experience been? And how is it different than you expected?
• Red Sox Top 30 Prospects list
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Groome: My experience has been phenomenal. I'm coming out every day and doing what I love. I didn't think it was going to be this crowded, though everyone did say it was going to be. It's weird walking into the weight room and seeing all these big leaguers. I grew up watching Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia and David Price.
I guess it's a little more thrilling. I try to look at it like they're just regular guys and maybe they'll be my teammates later on down the road. We go out of our way to say hello to each other. It's crazy that they go out of their way to say hello to me. I was down here for the offseason and Chris Sale, the first day he came to us, his first day, he came and said "What's up?" to me.
MLBPipeline.com: Have you been able to pick the brains of any of these guys? Chris Sale, David Price, you have some good lefties to choose from.
Groome: I'm not really a big guy to go and ask questions. Every single time they've been in the bullpen over there, I'll go out and watch them. I watched Sale's first live BP, and it was just incredible. They really don't miss that much. When I was watching Sale, every pitch was where the catcher set up. The catcher wanted a slider in to a righty, and bang, right on the inside corner. I'm more of an "eyes on" learner.
MLBPipeline.com: When did you get down to Fort Myers?
Groome: I've been down here the whole offseason. I got a place about five minutes away from here. I've been getting after it. I wanted to come in ready for Spring Training and hopefully break camp with a full-season team. I've been down here for about six, seven months now. I'm used to the weather now. I like the heat. I don't ever want to go back to where it's cold. In Jersey right now, it's snowing. Not just the weather down here, it's the facilities, the trainers who have helped me get to where I wanted to be through the offseason. I thank them a lot for that.
MLBPipeline.com: Your Draft experience was a little up and down. You were our No. 1 prospect heading in, then you slid a little bit when the Red Sox kind of jumped in and took you. How did all of that impact you?
Groome: I really don't like to dwell on it that much. I'll say that my family was probably going through a lot more stress than I was the day of the Draft, just because I always wanted to play professional baseball. It didn't really bother me who I ended up with. It was a dream come true when I heard my name called by my favorite team. My whole family had no idea when they saw me slide. Then my aunt said, "This is it. He's going to get picked by the Red Sox." Sure enough, they called my name and the whole house went nuts
• Red Sox Spring Training Report
MLBPipeline.com: You're from Jersey. How is it that the Red Sox are your favorite team?
Groome: It goes back to my dad. Everyone in my family is a Yankees fan, but he always liked Pedro Martinez. The same players I liked. He liked watching Nomar Garciaparra. I grew up watching Pedro when he was on the Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia when he came along, David Ortiz. It grew on me, the players and how they go about their business. Pedroia always gives it his all. I always looked at him like a role model. I always want to go out there and put my team in the best spot to win and do anything you can to help your team win.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.