Groome awestruck by Fenway atmosphere

Groome awestruck by Fenway atmosphere

BOSTON -- Jason Groome, who was a high school senior just a few months ago and is now ranked the Red Sox's No. 4 prospect, was a bit awestruck by his surroundings on Friday.

The 12th pick in the Draft back in June, Groome had already been to Fenway Park a couple of months ago just before he signed with the Red Sox.

But this time he was there on a gameday -- Red Sox-Yankees no less. From the clubhouse to the manager's office to the field itself during batting practice, this was the best field trip of Groome's 18-year-old life.

"Just being out here and being on my professional ballclub's field, shagging with all the big leaguers, I mean, it just a great experience and actually meeting them," said Groome, a left-handed starter. "I was talking to [Rick] Porcello out there and I just said, 'It's so weird just meeting you guys, from watching you guys on TV, just finally meeting you guys face to face."'

Groome also got to meet someone who he will never get a chance to play with in David Ortiz, who will retire at the end of this season.

"I was just shell-shocked, because I was watching him since I was 6 or 7 [years old] probably," said Groome.

The chance to talk to Porcello was particularly meaningful, because they are both New Jersey natives. Porcello was drafted with the 27th overall pick out of high school in 2007 and was in Detroit's starting rotation within two years.

"He told me to trust the process," Groome said of the advice Porcello gave him.

Several family members accompanied Groome for the trip to Fenway.

"Yeah, this is only my second time here, but, I mean, it still feels like it's a dream," Groome said. "I never thought I would be playing for the Red Sox and really just having my family up here, it's their first time in Boston. Just a great feeling."

After signing his contract, Groome got to make two starts in the Gulf Coast League and one at Class A Short Season Lowell, notching a 2.70 ERA over 6 2/3 innings.

What does Groome feel his most immediate need of development is?

"Mainly my command of my changeup," Groome said. "I really didn't throw it too much in the spring my senior year. I threw it a couple times in the GCL, threw it a couple of times in Lowell. I've still got to focus on the command of it, and that's what I'm going to work on."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.