The light-tower power is still present. The hype that comes with his name hasn’t diminished the production, at least not yet.
What Blaze Jordan did in the Florida Complex League at just 18 years old was eye-opening.
Jordan hit .362 in 76 plate appearances for the Red Sox’ rookie-ball squad. He belted four homers, seven doubles, and a triple — a .667 slugging percentage and a 1.075 OPS, prompting a promotion to Low A Salem.
“I think the key thing that we have to remind ourselves of, which makes this even more impressive, is the fact that he’d be, like, a senior in high school right now,” said Gus Quattlebaum, the Red Sox vice president of professional scouting. “It’s bananas. He would be a senior in high school right now going to Salem.”
The time in which Jordan reached Salem might be hard to fathom, but his production, at least to this point, isn’t. Quattlebaum got a look at Jordan during instructional league last fall, and what stood out to him was the fact that Jordan wasn’t overmatched at age 17.
Quattlebaum came away even more impressed with Jordan’s recent success.
“He’s hitting balls out to all parts of the park,” said Quattlebaum. “And in some ways, I’d argue, it’s harder to hit at the lowest levels because these kids have no idea where [the ball] is going. I mean, you’re facing different arms, like, every other inning. A lot of them are throwing real hard with no feel for how to execute. And so it can be an uncomfortable at-bat for some kids, but not for him.”
Jordan can sometimes get outside of his approach. He has a tendency to chase pitches outside the zone, but Quattlebaum noted that is typical for a player his age.
Jordan was a third-round pick in 2020, but was arguably the biggest name in the draft. He’s been in the spotlight since he was 12 years old, known for hitting tape-measure shots out of big league ballparks captured on videos that went viral.
But his fame wasn’t something the Red Sox bought into or took note of.
“Candidly, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to that,” said vice president of amateur scouting Mike Rikard. “We paid more attention to the core mechanics of his swing and how his swing works. He does it really easy for a guy that has that kind of power, and that really stood out to us through the process.”
There are still some questions about Jordan’s defense and whether he can stay at third base. He worked hard this offseason and certainly made strides. But is that enough?
“I think some are comfortable saying he can stick at third; others would argue against that,” Quattlebaum said. “I think it’s a little too early to make that call.”
In the meantime, Jordan has Salem in front of him, a ballpark that isn’t hitter-friendly. But this is about development, and for Jordan, this is when it really begins.
“That’s what minor league baseball is all about, is learning to make adjustments and see different types of pitching,” Rikard said. “There certainly will be some challenges along the way. But I definitely think it’s going to be good for him to have that opportunity, and I’m sure that he’ll grow as a result of being there.”
Cannon goes off
Infielder Cameron Cannon has been a consistent force at High A Greenville. The 2019 second-round pick entered Tuesday hitting .304 in 319 plate appearances and has tapped into more power, belting eight homers, the most he’s had as a professional. He’s hit 23 doubles, too, helping to boost his OPS to .814.
What’s been the key to his uptick in power?
“I think pitch selection is really big, and then staying within my legs, using my body,” Cannon said. “Not just getting handsy.
“I know every hitter is different. But that is, sort of, what leads to, like, a lot of hitters being able to see that production go up.”
Cannon’s most comfortable position is shortstop, a position he grew up playing. But he has played just 15 games there this season. He has logged 47 at second base, starting in 46 of them.
“I’ll play wherever they need me to play that day,” he said. “And I feel like I’m comfortable anywhere in the infield.”