Barnegat High School product Jason Groome drafted 12th overall by Red Sox


With the No. 1 overall pick for the first time since 1998, the Phillies kicked off the 2016 MLB draft on Thursday night by taking 18-year-old high school outfielder Mickey Moniak (see story).

The Phillies decided to go with a position player over a pitcher.

"Collectively, we believe Mickey was the best player available in the draft," said Johnny Almaraz, the Phillies head of amateur scouting (see story). "He's a true centerfielder with incredible offensive ability and the potential to be a perennial All-Star."

While Moniak was called first, local product Jason Groome had to wait a bit longer. The left-handed pitcher out of Barnegat High School in New Jersey was selected 12th overall by the Red Sox.

Groome, a 6-foot-5, 230-pounder, was considered an option for the Phillies at No. 1 and was ranked the top draft prospect by

He slipped in the draft over some concerns about his makeup despite a low-to-mid-90s fastball, nasty curve and solid changeup. He threw a no-hitter with 19 strikeouts early in the spring, but was suspended three weeks by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association over transfer rules after spending his junior season at IMG Academy in Florida.

"We do extensive work on makeup, character, background. . . all those things," Red Sox scouting director Mike Rikard said, via "We did put a lot of work in on that end. We have a scout (Ray Fagnant) in there that we're very, very comfortable with. Every kid you consider is going to have a different story and background and we're very comfortable that we know who Jason Groome is.''

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