PP 2004 Scouting Report: OF, Jason Grove
Grove Has the Heart of a Champion!
Grove Has the Heart of a Champion!

Posted Nov 5, 2004


The New York Yankees selected Jason Grove in the 3rd round 2000 Amateur Draft out of Washington State University. In his four year minor league career in the Yankees' farm system, Grove has impressed with his tireless work ethic and hustle on the field. (Free Preview of Premium Content)

Vital Statistics:
Name: Jason Grove
Position: Outfield
DOB: August 15, 1978
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 200
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Place of Residence: Walla Walla, Washington
How Acquired: Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 3rd round of the 2000 Draft.

Jason Grove was a heck of a player at Washington State University in his day. As a junior. Grove hit .393 with 18 home runs and 61 RBI in just 41 games with an incredible .485 on-base percentage. Despite suffering a setback his senior year (.314-3-17), he was drafted in the third round by the Yankees mostly on his success the year prior and for his mental make up.

A late signing caused Grove to make his professional debut in the Yankees organization the following year (2001) with the Greensboro Bats where he regained his power stroke. Making his debut in low-A ball, Grove clubbed 15 home runs and had a team leading 8 triples on his way to very impressive professional debut with the Bats. His 2001 season with Greensboro made the pundits, who were skeptical of Grove's ability his senior year of college, silent. At least, for the moment.

Grove was obviously promoted in 2002 to high-A ball in the Florida State League with the Tampa Yankees on the strength of his fantastic campaign with Greensboro but he was not able to duplicate the great success he had in low-A. Once again he had lost his power stroke. Despite showing great leadership ability and a thirst for more baseball knowledge, the numbers were just not there. He was sent back to Tampa in 2003 for some more seasoning and hit a respectable .270 in 18 games before being sent to AA-Trenton to finish out the season.

In Trenton, Grove immediately became a fan favorite due in large part to his tremendous hustle. Grove hit .287 the rest of the way and managed to top his 2002 home run mark (3) with five for the Thunder. Grove was sent back to Trenton this past season where he was able to revitalize his offensive game. While Grove has not shown the immense talent he once displayed, the Yankees' coaches and Thunder fans have embraced Jason Grove for his tremendous work ethic. Thunder hitting coach Steve Braun raved about the 26 year old's work ethic saying, "There's nobody better in how he goes about his business. He's very coachable." Dan Radison, another Thunder coach describes Grove as the type of player who, "works all the time. He's a very committed man."

"I take a lot of pride in my early work. I try to go to early hitting every day and get good reads in the outfield during BP." According to Grove though, hard work alone does not ensure a player a promotion or success. "Hard work can take you only so far. Hopefully, your skills get you there and hard work puts you over the top."

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2004

Trenton

.293

375

24

11

68

47

2

32

90

.359

.456

2003

Trenton

.287

244

12

5

28

28

0

23

48

.356

.398

2003

Tampa

.270

63

7

0

13

7

1

6

17

.329

.381

2002

Tampa

.275

273

18

3

35

37

3

36

62

.366

.410

2001

Tampa

.400

5

2

0

2

1

0

0

2

.400

.800

2001

Greensboro

.296

446

21

15

68

68

0

36

108

-

.480


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. Grove has good gap power but has not been able to transfer that into legit home run power in the professional ranks. He is a good contact hitter despite sporadically struggling with strikeouts at times. In his four year minor league career, Grove has been a .289 hitter. He hits well to all fields.

Base Running and Speed. Grove is not a threat on the base paths. However, what he lacks in speed he more than makes up for with incredible hustle. He'll run out everything on the field and is a smart base runner.

Defense. Used primarily as a designated hitter earlier in his Yankee career, Grove started playing the outfield more in 2004 as the coaches loved his heart and determination. Not blessed with the greatest of arms, Grove is an intelligent outfielder that gets a good jump on balls hit his way and takes good routes to shag the line drives.

Projection. Grove, truly one of the best guys in the Yankees' organization, simply does not project to be an everyday starter. He has a good eye at the plate and works his tail off. His work ethic could be enough to help propel him to the big leagues as a fourth or fifth outfielder and potential pinch hitter. At 26 years old, time is running out for him unfortunately.

ETA. 2005/2006. Loved by the Yankees' organization, Grove could be one of the September call-ups in 2005 or 2006 as a reward for all of his hard work. Beyond that, it's really up to Grove as to whether or not he remains in the Majors. One thing is certain. While he might not have the talent some others have, Grove has the heart of a champion.

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