Baseball Essential released a piece last week on Vanderbilt commit 2016 LHP Jason Groome highlighting his potential as a possible first-overall pick in next year’s draft and the significant improvement his game has seen thanks to his training and development at IMG Academy.
Groome, however, will not be on the mound for the Ascenders for his senior season as Hudson Belinsky of Baseball America reported that he will be leaving IMG Academy to return home to New Jersey. The LHP from Barnegat, N.J., transferred to IMG for his junior season of high school in order to further assist his development as a player.
LHP Jason Groome has opted to leave IMG and return home to New Jersey. Vanderbilt commit and potential top 10 pick. #MLBdraft
— Hudson Belinsky (@hudsonbelinsky) July 17, 2015
While the school he will be attending next year has not been confirmed, one would presume that he will be returning to his hometown Barnegat High School. While a move like this could possibly hurt a player’s draft stock, Groome has definitely proven that he can perform against top level talent so this should not be an issue.
Here is a recent scouting report on Groome from the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars by FanGraphs:
Groome firmly established himself as an early 1-1 candidate at TOS, working 94-96 mph with a feel for pitching that goes well beyond his 16 years of age. At 6-foot-6, the ball comes out effortlessly from a clean arm action and mid-3/4 release with good downhill angle. He paired the heater with a 75-78 mph curveball that spun tightly in its 1-to-7 orbit with two-plane depth (you can’t miss it in the video, even through the double netting), mixing in a promising changeup with good arm speed. The scout section was atypically mum throughout his three-inning start, which concluded with six strikeouts as he threw 30 of his 48 pitches for strikes. With more physical strength coming and a chance for three plus pitches, Groome is as advanced as a 16-year-old pitcher can be and has no discernible ceiling with these tools at this age.