Red Sox Top Prospect Jay Groome Back to Throwing After Tommy John Surgery

For a Red Sox team that is suddenly pretty light on talent in the minor leagues, this is great to see. Jay Groome projects as a stud front of the line pitcher. I know, I know, I can hear Big Z groaning from here about another “top prospect.” But this is a guy who the Red Sox drafted No. 12 overall in 2016 thanks to their wild first place/last place fluctuations earlier this decade.

Projected to go in the first few picks, Groome fell to the Red Sox at No. 12 for perceived issues like signability. But he was also working out with current Red Sox ace Chris Sale last offseason so I love that.

As a 6’6″ lefty though there’s not much to dislike. Sure he’s coming back from Tommy John, but as sad as it sounds that almost seems like a prerequisite for young pitchers coming up these days. SoxProspects.com projects Groome as a No. 2-3 starter.

“Has the potential to develop into one of the top left-handed pitching prospects in baseball. Projects as a solid number three starter. Has the ceiling of a high-end number two starter. Has the build of a workhorse starting pitcher and clean, repeatable mechanics to be able to sustain 200-plus innings a year.”

I would gladly take that as the Red Sox haven’t developed a good starter since Jon Lester. Seriously, it’s bad.

“Jon Lester made his big league debut on June 10, 2006, 14 months before Clay Buchholz first scaled the mound at Fenway Park. Others have come and gone, but 10 years after Buchholz‘s arrival, he and Lester remain the only viable starters the Red Sox have developed during the 15-year stewardship of John Henry’s ownership group. No other homegrown Sox starter has logged more than 450 career innings in that time span.”

Groome has been ranked as high as the No. 23 prospect in baseball and as low as No. 85 over the past two seasons so the potential is definitely there. After getting surgery in May 2018, a return mid-season in 2019 is what I would expect, but he’s probably still a couple of years away from a Fenway debut.

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