Barnegat Ace Jason Groome Commits to Vanderbilt
Barnegat junior left-hander Jason Groome, one of the top players in the country in the Class of 2016 and a high-level Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft prospect, announced on Friday that he has verbally committed to Vanderbilt University.
Groome was lights-out as a sophomore in earned Shore Sports Network first-team All-Shore honors. He nearly led Barnegat to its first tournament championship in history after he did help get them to the 20-win mark for the first time in the eight-year history of the program.
He finished 6-2 and led the Shore Conference in strikeouts (107), strikeouts-per-seven innings (12.21) and WHIP (0.65), while finishing tied for second in ERA (0.57) and third in strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.64) among qualified starters. Groome struck out at least 13 batters in four different games, including a 16-strikeout onslaught in a 1-0 loss to Buena in the South Jersey Group II final, a loss Groome took despite not allowing an earned run.
Two more of the 13-strikeout games came in tournament games, the first of which came in 5 2/3 innings of one-hit relief against Monmouth in the Shore Conference Tournament round-of-16. Of his eight starts, two of them were two-hit complete games – including a two-hitter with no walks and six strikeouts against Group IV champion Jackson Memorial – and two were one-hit complete games. He returns as one of the state's top pitchers this spring.
Armed with a fastball that sat at 91-to-93 miles-per-hour by the end of the year, a hammer curveball and a fast-developing changeup to go with an 6-foot-5 frame, Groome is the kind of left-handed prospect that scouts could be drooling over in May of 2016.