The Yankees might have found a gem in latest waiver claim

mlb: washington nationals at miami marlins, jordan groshans, yankees
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are trying to add competition to their spring training equation, which is why we’ve seen them make several smaller moves over the past few weeks. Their latest acquisition was claiming former top prospect Jordan Groshans from the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.

Groshans is an interesting player who has dealt with several lower body injuries, derailing his development and dismantling his once-rising stock. However, Groshans is only 24 years old and has now moved over to third base full-time after once being considered a potential shortstop at the MLB level.

Groshans Once Displayed Elite Numbers

Back in 2019, he hit .337/.427/.482 at just 19 years old with Toronto’s A-Ball affiliate. Ever since that season, his numbers have slowly deteriorated, leading to a disappointing 2023 season with Miami’s Triple-A team.

He played 125 games last year, hitting .243/.339/.330, including six homers, 60 RBIs, a 17.4% strikeout rate, and a 12.5% walk rate. He’s always had a decent eye, regularly clocking in a K% below 20%, but he lacks significant power and fails to generate slugging prowess from his lower body.

Over a 17-game sample size with the Marlins in 2022, Groshans recorded a 37.5% hard-hit rate and a measly 2.1% barrel rate with just 87.1 average velocity. He did manage to reach a 107 max exit velocity, showing that he has plenty of power to get the ball over the fence, but a 5° launch angle didn’t do him any favors.

The Yankees Could Turn Back the Clock

The Yankees have a knack for improving launch angle, hard-hit rates, and exit velocity, which may be exactly what Groshans needs to take another step forward. It can’t hurt to have a decent infield prospect at the Triple-A level in 2024, just in case of any emergencies.

Defensively, he played 661 innings at third base last season, recording 15 errors. Over 154.1 innings on the hot corner at the MLB level, he recorded -1 defensive runs saved and -1 out above average, nothing to write home about. At best, he can be a league-average defensive player, but there’s plenty of room for him to grow offensively.

Spring training can go one of two ways for Groshans: Either he shows some upside and the Yankees stash him in Scranton, or he struggles, and they simply let him go without any harm done. However, the skills he displayed several years ago didn’t disappear; his development was disrupted along the way, and the Bombers might be able to turn things around, considering he’s only 24.

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