Toronto Blue Jays prospect Jordan Groshans is a man with a plan.
In the absence of a 2020 minor league season, the 2018 first-round pick used summer training camp and the alternate training site in Rochester, New York, to develop his approach at the plate.
Hunter Mense, the minor league hitting coordinator for the Blue Jays, believes Groshans relied on his raw talent to carry his production in rookie ball and single-A.
“He was able to overpower the opposition at some of the lower levels,” said Mense, on a Zoom call from the major league camp in Dunedin, Fla. “He was just able to overpower them without a whole lot of thinking that went into it.”
The Texas native excelled in Lansing (single-A) during the 2019 campaign, registering a .337/.427/.482 slash line (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage) in a 23-game sample size.
To become a big-league calibre hitter, however, coaches believe Groshans must lean on more than just his power.
The 21-year-old struggled at the Blue Jays’ 2020 summer camp and at the beginning of his stint in Rochester but that experience gave Groshans an opportunity to develop a proper mentality at the plate.
“It was really cool to see him understand what a plan looks like, what an approach looks like,” said Mense. “(Now) he has an idea, with each guy that he’s facing, of what he wants to do.”
The young hitter’s new perspective allows him to utilize the entire field and may alter the appearance of his spray chart.
“In 2019, and even before that, it was an approach that was just trying to get the ball in the air to the pull side. That starts to level itself out when you get to certain levels (of play),” said Mense.
“(Pitchers) start to spin it a little more, and there is a little bit more velocity. With an added approach, and a better idea of what he wants to do, you’ll see him spray balls all around.”
The alternate site in Rochester provided Groshans a chance to bounce ideas off of older, more experienced hitters, said the coach.
Bo Bichette, Jonathan Davis, and Brandon Drury all made appearances in Rochester. They supplied information that furthered Groshans’ understanding of what he needs to do in the batter’s box.