To this point in our voting, the list thus far has included basically many of the same names we saw on last year’s list, just with players claiming different spots on the list. Obviously that is excepting Marcelo Mayer, who was not in the organization at this time last year. We are continuing with that theme this time around, and with a player who made a relatively big jump this year and with potential to make another one on next year’s list. After coming out on the wrong end of a tiebreaker in the last vote, Blaze Jordan snuck through with this vote, becoming our number eight prospect with 42 percent of the votes.
By the time draft day came around in 2020, Jordan was perhaps the most well-known prospect who was not going to go in the first half of the first round, and arguably one of the most well-known prospects in the entire league. While he wasn’t considered an elite prospect at the time, the Mississippi State commit — I’m just now realizing he would have won a College World Series had he upheld his commitment, though I think he’s fine with the decision — was a relatively big name as he had shown off prodigious power in high school showcases. Some of his moonshots made him a mini YouTube celebrity.
Even though he wasn’t quite an elite prospect, however, being a high school player with his kind of power potential and a commitment to a top college program meant that any team who took him after the first round was likely going to have to pay more than slot value to get him to sign. Boston didn’t have a second round pick, but after saving money with their Nick Yorke selection in the first round they were able to take advantage if Jordan fell to him. That’s exactly what happened in the third round, and they pulled the trigger.
It was clear when the Red Sox grabbed Yorke with their first round selection that their next pick in the third round was going to be someone who commanded an over-slot bonus. What wasn’t clear was what profile of high upside player they’d target, and they went with a power bat with some hit tool issues. Just speaking for myself, it’s not typically the kind of player I gravitated towards, and so I was admittedly a little disappointed in the draft as a whole.
Well, it has only been one full season since that draft class, but I’m starting to feel quite silly about that evaluation. Yorke, as we know, has emerged as one of the top 100 — top 50 according to some — prospects in all of baseball. As for Jordan, he has not yet reached those heights as he hasn’t been able to play a ton, but between his game action and what the team has seen from him in workouts, the reviews have all been strong.
Since he was drafted in the summer of 2020, he obviously didn’t get to make his debut that season given the lack of minor-league ball, so he didn’t get to make his debut until this past season. However, Jordan being a high school graduate meant the team held him back in extended spring training, and his season actually got underway on the complex down in Florida. We don’t have a huge sample of games to look at from his professional debut, but when Jordan was able to get on the field he performed well. In the complex league he hit .362/.408/.667 to earn a quick promotion to Low-A Salem. There, he only played in nine games, but again hit decently well when he got the chance, hitting .250/.289/.444.
Coming out of the draft, Jordan was something of a projection darling, due in large part to his young age. The slugger is only entering his age-19 season and was among the youngest players in his entire draft class. Some Statcast-type data like exit velocity also stood out in the projection models. In more traditional scouting speak, there is also plenty to like, obviously buoyed by the power. His raw power is truly elite for where he is as a prospect. The question is whether or not he’s going to be able to make enough contact to tap into the power as he moves up the ladder. His first taste of pro ball was fine, but the pitching will only get more advanced.
Jordan has the bat speed to react quickly and put his bat on the ball, but the approach needs work and the swing is vulnerable to swing and miss. Defensively, Jordan is a third baseman right now, but it’s up in the air as to whether or not he will stick there. His athleticism at the hot corner last year I think surprised some, but the expectation from most is still that, as he continues to fill out, Jordan will end up moving across the diamond to first base.
This coming season is a big one for the right-handed bat. His first taste of pro ball went well, but it was only 28 games total between the two levels. Jordan is expected to start the season back in Salem, and he should be playing nearly every day. If he can tap into the power on a consistent basis in full-season ball as a 19-year-old, we’ll be seeing him on some top 100 lists next season and he will shoot up this organizational list. He’ll be among the most intriguing prospects to watch in the entire farm system next summer.
Here is our list so far:
- Triston Casas, 1B
- Marcelo Mayer, SS
- Nick Yorke, 2B
- Jarren Duran, OF
- Brayan Bello, RHP
- Bryan Mata, RHP
- Jeter Downs, 2B/SS
- Blaze Jordan, 3B/1B
Now, you can head down into the comments and vote for the number eight 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...