When it comes to high school athletes being viral sensations, the list isn’t a terribly long one. LeBron James, Zion Williamson, Bryce Harper, that Wal-Mart Yodel Boy... we can all agree these guys were well before their time.
It’s definitely time to add another name to that list, and this one probably has some direct significance for the Mariners.
DeSoto Central HS (Southaven, Miss.) corner infielder Blaze Jordan has been called the next Bryce Harper for a couple years now. Today, he reclassified his status as now draft-eligible for the 2020 draft. Something he’ll achieve by graduating high school a year early.
At just 16 years old, Blaze has a following most of us could only dream of (or categorically avoid at all costs). With almost 50,000 Instagram followers, and a Youtube Highlight Reel exceeding 2.5 million views, the baseball world is well-aware of who Blaze Jordan is. It’s probably time for the Mariners to take notice.
At 6-foot-2, 218 pounds, Jordan is already built for the part. He’s still growing into his body, working to transform himself into a more athletic version of his current stature. According to JJ Cooper of Baseball America, he’s shown great strides in that area over the past year and a half.
Jordan already has prodigal raw power, and a strong hit-tool. His bat alone suggests a Top 5 pick in next years draft. The issue with Jordan will be whether or not he’ll be able to show he can not only play, but stick at the hot corner.
In an interview with Baseball America, Jordan’s travel ball coach Tim Dulin was effusive about the future major league potential.
“About 30 minutes after I hit with him, I knew he was special,” Dulin said. “I have not had guys with (this sort of) power at his age.”
Dulin, who has worked with Jordan since he was 4-years-old, went on to say he struggled with whether or not to take Jordan to some events as a 13-year-old, meant primarily for draft-eligible 18-year-olds.
“I couldn’t look at the age more than the ability,” Dulin said. “He did well. Scouts... when Blaze is up to bat, they all come over and videotape this guy.”
While the hit tool is there and even still developing, there are areas of Jordan’s game that differentiate his case from that of Bryce Harper, the flashy, lavish, can’t miss prospect.
Jordan is not what Bryce Harper was in the field - not nearly as polished. He’s still learning how to play third base, with his lateral ability and footwork being the most obvious examples.
But then again, he’s only 16-years-old.
He has a lot of time to grow, and if he continues to focus on his physique, those are very curable warts. He shows average-or-better arm strength that should play just fine in pro ball.
From this chair, Jordan’s future scouting report is as follows:
As it stands now, a Ryon Healy floor probably isn’t too far off. There is a Kris Bryant ceiling in there, although a present day right-handed hitting Rafael Devers outcome is probably the most likely happy medium.
Jordan is currently committed to Mississippi State. It’s still far too early to know what kind of bonus he’ll be seeking, but given his reputation, one could surmise he has labeled himself as a high first round talent with the expectation as such.
Next June’s draft is looking much stronger than this year’s crop of talent. With Seattle presumably picking somewhere in the first-half of the first round next June, there is the possibility Jordan may be on the board.
He’s not the safest pick as it stands today, but who wouldn’t want “The Next Bryce Harper” in Everett come June 2020?