For the second year running, Blaze Jordan was named the best power-hitting prospect in the Red Sox farm system heading into the 2022 season by Baseball America on Wednesday.
Jordan, who turns 19 next month, was also identified by Baseball America as the No. 7 prospect in Boston’s farm system, rising 11 spots from where he was at this time one year ago.
The Red Sox originally selected Jordan in the third round of the 2020 amateur draft out of DeSoto Central High School (Southaven, Miss.), ultimately swaying him away from his commitment to Mississippi State University by signing him to an overslot deal of $1.75 million.
With the 2020 minor-league season having been cancelled on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jordan did not make his highly-anticipated professional debut until this past June in the rookie-level Florida Complex League.
In 19 complex league games, the right-handed hitting corner infielder slashed .362/.408/.667 (170 wRC+) with seven doubles, one triple, four home runs, 19 RBIs, 12 runs scored, one stolen bases, six walks, and 13 strikeouts over 76 plate appearances before earning a promotion to Low-A Salem in early August.
Among hitters who accrued at least 70 plate appearances in the Florida Complex League this season, Jordan ranked third in slugging percentage, fifth in isolated power (.304), and seventh in wRC+, per FanGraphs.
It took more than two weeks for Jordan to debut for Salem, but the 18-year-old picked up where he left off by batting .250/.289/.444 (95 wRC+) to go along with one double, two homers, seven RBIs, seven runs scored, two walks, and eight strikeouts across nine games (38 plate appearances) to close out the year.
Considering that he reclassified while in high school to graduate a year early, Jordan is still a relatively young prospect. The 6-foot-2, 220 pounder was signed by Red Sox area scout Danny Watkins out of high school and was among the youngest hitters to play at the Low-A level this season.
On Wednesday, The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, who also serves as a Red Sox correspondent for Baseball America, wrote that Jordan’s “plus-plus power is a show-stopper. He hits towering home runs to all fields and gets to his power even with a disconnect in his upper and lower halves that should get smoothed out over time.
“Though he lacks any real semblance of an approach, he sees the ball well, allowing him to remain more controlled in the batter’s box than might be expected,” added Speier. “Jordan projects to be no more than a fringe-average hitter, but his pitch recognition gives him the foundation to get to his power enough to be an everyday player.”
On the other side of the ball, Jordan saw the majority of his playing time at both the complex and Low-A come at third base, though he also appeared in five total games as a first baseman as well.
The Sox, per Speier, “believe he can continue developing at third, which he does have the plus arm strength for.”
As for where Jordan will begin the 2022 season, it is believed that Boston will take a deliberate approach with the young infielder and have him progress through the system at a steady pace beginning in Salem next spring.
(Picture of Blaze Jordan: Bryan Green/Flickr)