|Boston Red Sox|
|Born: August 23, 1998|
Barnegat Township, New Jersey
Jason Joseph Groome (born August 23, 1998) is an American professional baseball pitcher. He attended Barnegat High School in Barnegat Township, New Jersey, and was considered a top prospect in the 2016 Major League Baseball draft. The Boston Red Sox selected him with the 12th overall selection.
High school career
Groome began high school at Barnegat High School in Barnegat Township, New Jersey. He made the school's varsity baseball team as a freshman, and as a sophomore, had a 6–2 win-loss record and 0.57 earned run average (ERA) in 61 1⁄3 innings pitched for the school's baseball team. He transferred to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, before his junior year, and committed to attend Vanderbilt University on a college baseball scholarship. Groome pitched to a 5–0 record and a 1.22 ERA with 81 strikeouts and nine walks in 43 innings as a junior.
Due to feeling homesick, Groome opted to return to Barnegat for his senior year. However, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association ruled that Groome was ineligible to pitch for Barnegat in April 2016 because the transfer did not involve a change of address. He regained his eligibility after 30 days, or half of Barnegat's games.
Groome throws a fastball between 92–96 miles per hour (148–154 km/h), a changeup, and a curveball. He was a potential first overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, and worked out for the Philadelphia Phillies, who had the first pick. Prior to the draft, Groome changed his college commitment from Vanderbilt to Chipola College, a junior college in Florida. He was selected 12th overall by the Boston Red Sox in the draft, falling in part due to a reported signing bonus demand of $4 million and because of his change in college commitment; teams had signability concerns. The Red Sox and Groome agreed to a $3.65 million signing bonus.
In 2016, Groome made two starts for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Red Sox before being promoted to the Lowell Spinners of the Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League. He posted a combined 2.70 ERA in three games for the Red Sox and Spinners. He spent 2017 with both Lowell and the Greenville Drive of the Class A South Atlantic League, going 3–9 with a 5.69 ERA in 14 games between both teams.
At the start of the 2018 season, Groome did not play, with what was initially thought to be a flexor strain. On May 9, 2018, the Red Sox announced that Groome would undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow. In April 2019, Groome was projected to return mid-way through the 2019 season; he made his first appearance on August 21, pitching an inning for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox. After another one-inning appearance in the Gulf Coast League, Groome made one appearance with Lowell; overall for the season he pitched four innings, allowing five hits and one run (2.25 ERA).
Groome has two older sisters and two younger brothers. On July 10, 2017, his father, Jason, was arrested in Barnegat Township and charged with multiple drug counts, including possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to distribute, along with firearm charges. As of June 2019[update], the elder Groome is incarcerated in New Jersey, eligible for parole in January 2021.
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- Diez, Waldy; McGarry, Michael (July 12, 2017). "Father of Boston Red Sox prospect Barnegat's Jay Groome charged with heroin, firearms". pressofatlanticcity.com. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
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- "Inmate Search". state.nj.us. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
SBI Number 000131594C
- Smith, Christopher (September 6, 2019). "Jay Groome, Boston Red Sox prospect: 'I've got a brand new arm, basically. If I can maintain it and keep it healthy, the sky's the limit'". masslive.com. Retrieved September 17, 2019.