With the 12th overall pick in the draft, the Boston Red Sox have selected left-hander Jason Groome out of Barnegat High School in New Jersey. Prior to the draft, according to MLB.com's mock, Groome was projected to go sixth overall to the Oakland Athletics. This would have been well outside the norm for the Athletics though, who last used their first round draft pick on a pitcher back in 2011. Furthermore, under Billy Beane, the Athletics have never used a first rounder on a high school pitcher because they are too risky and cost more to retain. The last time the Athletics used a first-round pick on a high school pitcher, it was on Todd Van Poppel.
The Red Sox farm system is fairly deep, though mostly loaded with bats. Anderson Espinoza represents their most promising arm while Michael Kopech and Brian Johnson round out a good young corp. At 17 years old, Groome is still quite a distance from the majors, but he has the tools to get there.
The 6-foot-6, 17-year old was considered the best high-school pitcher in the nation in advance of the draft, with initial projections touting him as a potential No. 1 overall pick. While Groome lacks the velocity that Riley Pint boasts on his fastball, he makes up for it in the command of his breaking and off-speed pitches. The lefty has a commitment to Vanderbilt.
MLB.com had Groome as the top prospect in this year’s draft class. Baseball America had him third overall and just behind the other two highly-rated pitchers on the board: Puk and Pint. While it was a three-horse race for top overall pitcher to go off the board this year, Ian Anderson somewhat shockingly beat all other pitchers off the board.