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2018 MLB Draft Profile: Jordan Groshans, SS/3B, Magnolia HS (TX)

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Big, athletic, left side infielder with power in his arm and more power in his bat.

Measurables

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 195 lbs.

60 yard dash: 6.5

IF Throw: 92 MPH

P Throw: 91 MPH

Exit Velo: 90 MPH (84% rank)

Max Barrel Speed: 72.095 MPH (81% rank)

(Via Perfect Game)

Player Summary

At 18 years, 6 months, Groshams is a shortstop/pitcher, and one of the Houston area’s top high school prospects, along with teammate Adam Kloffenstein (p) of Magnolia High School. He will be drafted as a position player. However with his size and stiffness in his hips, he probably lacks the range for shortstop, but with plenty of arm strength projects as a third baseman.

Grosham’s strongest hit tool is his power. In various All-Star games he has hit home runs to all fields, including one off a pitch clocked at 95 MPH. He tends to swing off his front foot with momentum on the swing. His power grades between 55 and 60. He has a fairly level swing, and might increase his power with a little more of an upper cut so prevalent today in MLB. Scouts vary as to his ability to make consistent contact, with more than one concerned with his ability to stay back on the breaking ball.

He is considered a plus fielder and with an even better throwing arm.

MLB.com gives Groshans the following grades:

Hit: 50/ Power: 55/ Run: 50/ Arm: 55/ Field: 50/ Overall: 50

MLB Comparison

One scout compared Groshan’s hitter profile to right fielder Matt Holiday. Physically, as he fills out, he profiles like third basemen Colin Moran or Kris Bryant. (As a senior Bryant was 6’5”, 200 lbs). Of course he does not project as high as either of them did coming into their drafts, but they were drafted out of college. He projects to be more of a power hitter than Moran, but Groshan’s challenge as a professional will be to develop the contact skill of Moran while maintaining his power. Obviously, nobody thinks that anything like Kris Bryant could be reasonably expected at #28, despite any physical resemblance, but perhaps the high upside for Groshans is Bryant lite.

Is that going too far? No one knew Khris Bryant would be Khris Bryant in High School. He said he wanted to be a dentist.

Projected Draft Round

Groshans has committed to play with the University of Kansas where his older brother, Jaxx now plays. However he should be drafted high enough to entice him away from college. He is projected to be drafted anywhere from 18th (by Fangraphs) all the way to 68th by Baseball America. MLB.com projects him at 32nd.

At this point I must make full disclosure. I work at the same school district where Groshans went to school. I teach at the rival school, Magnolia West High. What my contacts tell me confirms what I have read from other sources; that Jordan has the “intangibles” that many teams value.

Confident on the field, but the hardest worker on just about any team, he is a supportive teammate and a devoted Christian. He was a top student as well. Teams, like the Astros, that highly value character in their evaluations, should score Groshans high by this criterion.

Does Groshans Make Sense for the Astros?

Of course, as with all these projections, it depends on how the Astros grade the prospect, who else is available at 28, and whether the prospect is even available. The most important consideration in the major league draft is talent, not need.

That said, all else being equal, since 2015 the Astros have traded or otherwise lost at least six top outfield prospects, two top catching prospects and numerous pitchers. They lack stability currently at the third and fourth outfield position, the other two outfielders become free agents in 2021.

The catching situation is equally fluid. And, as they say, you can never have enough pitching.

Meanwhile the Astros have a young fixture at third, with major league ready players like J. D. Davis and Tyler White waiting to break in behind him. Last year they drafted Joe Perez in the second round, a third baseman/pitcher who profiles very similarly to Groshans, Abraham Toro is another third base prospect in lower minors.

Fangraphs projected for the Astros a center fielder (Mike Siani) with this explanation. “Houston is tied mostly to analytics friendly prep talents, either high-exit-velo types or young northern bats along with prep arms with high spin rates/velocity.

If high exit velocity and, by corollary, barrel speed (84th and 81st percentile for Groshans) are the Astros’ criteria, perhaps there are more elite choices available going by these analytic measures.