Prospect Spotlight: Blaze Jordan
Whenever I think of Blaze Jordan, this is what I see in my mind’s eye and it takes me back to 2017 when times were simpler…ok, not really simpler…or better, things were still generally pretty bad, but that’s just the millennial in me. What wasn`t so terrible was watching a 13-year-old hit a couple of 500-foot bombs with a wood freaking bat, man. Some things have changed, both in life and about Blaze Jordan and today we will just be focusing on that former newly minted teenager and how he is blossoming into an all around talent. And don`t for a second think I wasn`t going to include the video of him hitting those dingers.
Blaze came into the Red Sox organization in the third round of the 2020 draft being known for…well that power. When he was finally able to get into games in 2021 (shout-out to the Pandemic) he showed off that power, hitting four home runs and seven doubles in only 76 plate appearances. He was quickly shipped up to Single-A for a brief cameo before the year closed on his first season is professional baseball.
When he returned in the spring of 2022, he spent the majority of the season in Single-A where he showed a strong sense of the strike zone, rarely striking out at just 16% and walking at a 8.9% clip. His power just wasn`t materializing, however. He had eight home runs through 415 plate appearances but was hitting the ball well enough to get an August call up to High-A where he connected for four more homers to end the year with 12 and posting a line of .289/.363/.445.
To put it mildly, Jordan`s stock fell precipitously to begin `23, there was little power output and a so-so walk rate and when paired with a lagging glove it makes a ton of sense. Last season Jordan started off in High-A again and had a much better showing while still being slightly below age for the level. He managed his highest power output of his young career, swatting 12 home runs in just 322 plate appearances while maintaining a strong .324 average buoyed by an 80% zone contact rate. It was noticeable that Jordan and the Red Sox organization made it a priority for him to start lifting the ball more as he gained 6% to his fly ball rate from `22 going from just 30% to 36%.
All of this earned him a promotion to Double-A as a 20-year-old where he was just about three years younger than the competition. He struggled a bit, if he didn`t we wouldn`t be ranking him where we did, but the power remained which is a huge thing for me. It seems more like anything it was BABIP luck that plagued Jordan in his 49-game trial in Portland as it sat at .268 where it normally resides in the low .300s. To end the year, Jordan finished with a .295/.350/.481 line to go along with 18 home runs.
Future Fantasy Outlook
Next year will be telling for Blaze, he has purportedly already lost 20 pounds over the offseason *que best shape of his life music* and while he had the highest home run total of his career so far, the exit velocities dipped a bit a fair amount reportedly. It would seem he will start the year off repeating Double-A again, and if he can improve upon his exit velocities while maintaining his contact ability you could be looking at a breakout. I have been trying to acquire him everywhere I can in anticipation of this breakout, as I would rather pay cents on the dollar before he pops. He`s a strong buy in my opinion, he has shown in the past that he has power, and it looks as if the total package is coming all together for Blaze.