A few years removed from bottoming out, the Boston Red Sox farm system is rebounding. No, Boston’s prospect pool isn’t the embarrassment of riches it once was, but there are plenty of players whom fans should be excited about.
Over the next few weeks, NESN.com will profile some of the more noteworthy prospects in the Red Sox system, utilizing insight and analysis from industry experts who know the players best. Next up: 2020 third-round draft pick Blaze Jordan.
If nothing else, Blaze Jordan will go through life with an awesome name.
It just so happens he’s really good at baseball, too.
After reaching in the first round of the 2020 Major League Baseball draft to select Nick York, who reportedly will sign an under-slot contract, the Boston Red Sox made headlines in the third round with the 89th pick. Blaze Jordan is a prospect who, if he signs, will bring a ton of bower to Boston’s farm system. The corner infielder has been a phenom since the age of 15, and at 17 remains famous for his ability to hit the ball out of the park.
Of course, there’s much more to him than just hitting bombs.
Here’s everything you need to know about Blaze Jordan:
Jordan hails from Southaven, Miss., where he played high school ball for DeSoto Central High School. If you’re someone who follows the youth baseball scene, you probably heard about his batting practices. Unlike Yorke, Jordan entered the draft with a ton of buzz around him.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder was a two-time First Team All-State selection at DeSoto Central, batting .440 with a 1.308 OPS, 33 doubles, six triples, 19 home runs and 98 RBI in 100 career games. He also won the 2019 High School Home Run Derby at Cleveland’s Progressive Field during All-Star Weekend.
Whether he’ll sign with the Red Sox remains to be seen. Jordan, who won’t turn 18 until December, reclassified for the 2021 draft and has a verbal commitment to Mississippi State.
“It’s just one of those things where I’m going to have to still talk to my advisers and especially my family because they play such an important role in this whole situation,” Jordan told MassLive’s Chris Cotillo after the draft.
“So, it’s just one of those things I’m going to have to see where it goes from here. Right now, I just feel amazing I got picked by such a great organization like that.”
— Blaze Jordan (@Blaze_j24) June 13, 2020
Jordan, who ranked 90th on Baseball America’s predraft rankings and was drafted as a third baseman, is a polarizing prospect.
Again, it’s his ability to hit that comes up most often.
“Jordan is one of the most well-known prospects from this year’s draft class due to his prodigious power,” Ian Cundall, director of scouting for SoxProspects.com, recently told NESN.com. ” … Even though he is on the young side, he has some of the best raw power in the high school class this year and the Red Sox think he will hit as well.”
Others are quick to note the legitimate questions over Jordan’s defense.
“He didn’t have a great summer last year, and he didn’t have a great start to the spring,” Baseball America executive editor JJ Cooper recently told NESN.com. ” … Blaze Jordan was trying to prove he’s a third baseman. He thought that if he could prove that he could really play third base, that that would add to his value. Well, I’ve talked to scouts who their viewpoint is he’s not going to be a third baseman, but (trying) kinda hurt him as far as his power, his in-game power and all that because he got lighter and he lost some strength with that. … It’s very fair to say that Blaze Jordan was a very divisive prospect.”
And then there are those who flat-out don’t believe in him.
“(Jordan) puts on a great (batting practice) but has little game power because of a swing that is all hands, making no use of his lower half,” The Athletic’s Keith Law wrote in a post-draft column. “He’s limited to first base, so he has to get to that power to be a prospect. The history of high school position players from Mississippi is also pretty dismal, so I think Jordan is a prospect, but a longshot.”
Why did the Red Sox draft him?
Well, the simplest answer is that Boston believes Jordan can hit, but more obviously went into it.
“We were really, really excited to have the opportunity to select him,” Paul Toboni said, the Red Sox’s director of amateur scouting, told Baseball America after the draft. “Quite frankly, we didn’t think he would make it that far in the draft. He’s a unique talent.”
Added Toboni: “He’s mature beyond his years. It doesn’t hurt that he’s been on big-league fields taking batting practice and hitting home runs and slapping five with Mookie Betts and other big leaguers. It for sure doesn’t hurt, especially for someone that carries himself with great humility and has a strong work ethic.”
Also worth noting is the drafting of Yorke. Many experts believe the Red Sox reached for Yorke, whom they could underpay, with intention of overpaying for a player like Jordan in the third round. Having lost their second-round pick, Boston essentially traded a first- and third-round pick for two second-rounders.
— MLB (@MLB) June 12, 2020
Where he fits
Again, it’s unclear whether Jordan will sign with Boston or go to Mississippi State. If he does turn pro, he, like any prospect, will have much to prove.
Jordan is raw. He won’t be at Fenway Park anytime soon. However, if he joins the Red Sox, it probably won’t be long before he starts generating considerable hype.
“If Jordan reaches his potential at the plate, it won’t matter where he ends up,” Cundall said. “He will be the highest-ranked draftee from this year’s class initially, likely in the 9-15 range.”