Baseball – Groome Makes Pro Debut, More from the Minors
Jason Groome tossed two scoreless innings in his professional debut Monday in Fort Myers, Fla. with the Boston Red Sox Gulf Coast League team.
Groome allowed one hit - a two-out double in the second inning - did not walk a batter and struck out three against the Tampa Bay Rays affiliate. The left-hander struck out three consecutive hitters - two to end a one-two-three first and one to begin the second.
According to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, Groome threw 19 of his 30 pitches for strikes and featured a fastball that ranged from 90 to 95 miles-per-hour. He induced a total of seven swinging strikes.
The Red Sox selected Groome with the No. 12 overall pick in June's MLB First-Year Player Draft after Groome entered his senior season of high school baseball as a potential No. 1 overall pick. It took until the July 15 deadline for Groome to officially sign his professional contract with the Red Sox, which was worth a signing bonus of $3.65 million.
Groome, who turns 18 years old on Tuesday, will make his next start for the GCL Red Sox will be on Saturday.
Thaiss thriving at new position
The No. 16 overall pick this past June, Matt Thaiss was one of the earliest first round picks to sign and the former Jackson Memorial standout hit the ground running with the Angels.
The organization has been trying Thaiss - a catcher at the University of Virginia - at first base and while he has been fully acclimating himself at the corner infield spot, he has continued to produce at the plate as he did in college.
Thaiss needed only 15 games and 65 at-bats to convince the Angels that he was ready for a promotion from Class A Short-Season Orem to full-season action at Class A Burlington. In his short stint at Orem, Thaiss hit .338/.394/.569 with two home runs, seven doubles and a triple while striking out just four times.
In 150 at-bats with Burlington, Thaiss is hitting .300/.382/.467 with three homers, 12 doubles and two triples and has more walks (19) than strikeouts (18).
All three of Thaiss's home runs with Burlington came during a four-game series against Quad Cities (Houston Astros) earlier this month. He hit his first full-season home run on Aug. 6 and two nights later, he went 3-for-7 with a double and another home run. After going 2-for-4 with his third home run on Aug. 8, Thaiss increased his slugging percentage to .504 after it dropped to .406 on July 28.
Rose in bloom
After an initial struggle transitioning from prep baseball to professional baseball, former Toms River North star and reigning Shore Sports Network Hitter of the Year Joey Rose began August with a bang.
Rose launched his first professional home run for the Arizona Diamondbacks Arizona Rookie League team on Aug. 1, propelling him to a strong August performance at the plate. In 55 plate appearances this month, Rose is hitting .302/.327/.491 with three doubles and two triples to go with his home run.
Rose was a fifth-round pick of the Diamondback in June's MLB Draft and debuted in the Arizonal Rookie League on June 26.
No Average Joe
Manalapan alumnus Joe Serrapica parlayed a bounceback senior season at Fordham into an opportunity with the Tampa Bay Rays and so far, the former Braves ace is making the most of his chance in pro ball.
Serrapica debuted with Class A Short-Season Hudson Valley on June 23 and has been nothing short of dominant at that level. He has yet to allow a run in 19 1/3 innings while striking out 23 and walking only five. He has also allowed only 10 hits, giving him a WHIP of 0.78 to go with his spotless ERA.
A difficult junior season at Fordham saw Serrapica relegated to relief duty, but he bounced back to re-establish himself as the Rams ace this past spring. Armed with a mid-90's fastball, Serrapica heard his name called by Tampa Bay in the 24th round. Serrapica was part of two NJSIAA Group IV championship teams at Manalapan and led the Braves to a second consecutive title as the team's ace in 2012.