Draft profile: Jason Groome

Draft profile: Jason Groome

With the 2016 Draft fast approaching, we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class. 

Name: Jason Groome
Position: LHP
School: Barneget (N.J.) High School .
Rank on Draft Top 200: 1
DOB: 8/23/1988
Bats: L Throws: L
Height: 6' 6" Weight: 220 pounds
College commitment: Vanderbilt

Tools
(Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale)
Fastball: 
65
Curveball: 60
Changeup: 50
Control: 60
Overall: 60

Stats
Record: 
1-3, 1 save
Innings: 39 2/3
Strikeouts: 90
Walks: 14

Scouting report
A New Jersey native, Groome moved to Florida to attend the IMG Academy in Bradenton for his junior season. After a very strong summer on the showcase circuit, Groome is back in the Garden State and could be the highest-drafted player from that state. Two weeks into his senior season, and a week after a 19-strikeout no-hitter, he was ruled ineligible for 30 days because he'd violated a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association transfer rule despite returning to his parents' home and former school.

Groome has everything to be a top-of-the-rotation left-handed starting pitcher, from his 6-foot-6 frame to the potential to have three above-average to plus offerings. The fastball is already there, up to 96 mph and sitting 92-93 mph over the summer, and in the 90-94 mph range in the early stages of the spring. Groome features a nasty curve as well, with tight rotation and bite. He doesn't throw his changeup often, but he's shown some feel for it, with some sink. Groome is generally around the plate and has clean mechanics, with a pretty good overall feel for pitching.

The highest a player from New Jersey has gone in the June Draft is No. 3 (Jeff Kunkel, 1983; Willie Banks, 1987). Groome, a Vanderbilt commit, could break that record, though some some teams have concerns about his makeup.

MLB comp: Madison Bumgarner

Fun fact: Groome is an avid fisherman who also is a member of his high school's fishing club.

He said it: "I just want to play professional baseball. If I don't go No. 1 or don't go No. 6 or go No. 9 or 10, it really doesn't matter to me. I just want to go somewhere I'm going to feel comfortable and be protected." (Cincinnati Enquirer)

They said it: "To me, he's a once-in-a-generation type pitcher. I've seen a ton of pitchers in my lifetime. I swear I've never seen anybody with the natural raw ability of Jason Groome."
-- Todd Rizzo, travel ball coach, former Major Leaguer (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.