In my mind, we have entered a new tier in our prospect voting with the final six spots on our list here. The top 14 were more or less to be expected in whatever order you’d like, but there are a lot of different directions to go to finish things out. I say this because that was on full display with the latest round of voting. We had a tie this time around, and that means I turned to consensus expert rankings to break it. Emerging from the tie was Blaze Jordan, who comes in at number 15 on our list.
The Red Sox had a really interesting draft last season in a number of ways. For one thing, it was only five rounds, which was obviously the case for everybody. And then the Red Sox lost their second rounder as a penalty for their sign-stealing scheme in 2018, leaving them even more short-handed than most of the rest of the league. Many, myself included, thought that would mean they would target more upside with their first pick. Instead, they surprised everyone by going off the board with their Nick Yorke first round selection.
We’ve talked about Yorke and the way he has only reaffirmed Boston’s belief in him in the months since they’ve drafted him, but we should remember his pick wasn’t just about him. The organization liked him as a player, but they also were able to save some money on that pick to use in the third round. That’s where they drafted Jordan, who already had a bit of a profile heading into this draft.
The young infielder was actually the youngest member of his high school class, having reclassified his status not long before the draft to gain eligibility for the 2020 draft rather than 2021. As a result, he’ll be 18 for this entire season instead of the typical 19 for a high school draftees first full season. Along with the youth, Jordan was one of the more well-known high schoolers in this class. He had gained fame on YouTube with his mammoth home runs since he was only 13, and was long one of the better high schoolers in his class since joining the high school ranks. Throw in a victory at the 2019 High School Home Run Derby, and despite being a third rounder he had a high profile before he signed his first contract.
And when we talk about scouting here, we clearly have to start with that power. This is what got Jordan drafted in the third round, and it is why people are in love with his ceiling. The young righty has shown an ability to get his power to play in games against all types of pitching and arms more advanced than him. He has everything you’re looking for from a power hitter. That said, there are some questions about the hit tool and pitch recognition that will ultimately determine how much that power actually plays as a pro. Granted, it’s far from uncommon that an 18-year-old has some approach issues, and there is potential for him to develop at least an average hit tool. There’s just a long way to go, which creates a lot of variance with his ultimate outcome. Again, that’s not exactly uncommon for his age.
The defense also puts some pressure on his bat, because he’s likely going to end up at first base. Jordan was, for what it’s worth, drafted as a third baseman, and there are some in the organization who are more optimistic about his future there than the public reports would indicate.
That said, this is typically how these things go, and the same was said about Triston Casas. More likely is that Jordan plays some third base this season but is a full-time first baseman by the end of the year. The good news is he should be good there, so it’s not a future DH profile. But he will have to hit to maximize his profile. The potential is there for him to be a legitimate middle-of-the-order bat, but it’ll be a journey to get there.
I’m really interested to see where Jordan lands in 2021 after not being able to get his feet wet last summer in anything beyond Instructs action in the fall. It seems like he would’ve been a perfect fit for Lowell, but of course that is no longer a level. Sox Prospects projects him for the GCL, which is probably the right call. As we’ve said many times now, he’s still only 18 and will be all season.
Still, there is a part of me that thinks he could get a bump up to Low-A Salem, if not to start the season maybe a bit after the season gets started a la Bryan Mata a few years back. Jordan has shown an ability to play above his age level throughout his life, and if he shows out down in Fort Myers perhaps the team will be willing to take a chance. He’ll be one of the players whose placement I’ll be most closely monitoring.
Here is our list so far:
- Triston Casas
- Jeter Downs
- Bryan Mata
- Jarren Duran
- Gilberto Jimenez
- Noah Song
- Bobby Dalbec
- Tanner Houck
- Connor Seabold
- Aldo Ramirez
- Thad Ward
- Jay Groome
- Nick Yorke
- Ronaldo Hernández
- Blaze Jordan
Now, you can head down into the comments and vote for the number 15 prospect. As a reminder, to do this you go down below and find the comment from me corresponding with the player for whom you’d like to vote. When you find said player, just click the “rec” button, and that will count your vote. To do this, you will need to be logged in as a member of the site. If you’d like to vote for a player who is not listed, just leave a comment saying “Vote for ___ here” and I’ll rec the comment to count your vote. We encourage discussion, of course, but please don’t comment under specific players’ names. Instead, scroll to the bottom to start a new comment thread in order to keep the players at the top of the comment section. Until next time...