As Blaze Jordan continues his journey through the Red Sox organization, he dreams of one day cranking home runs over the Green Monster.
But for now, he’s with the Greenville Drive, launching long balls over the “mini-monster” replica of Fenway Park’s wall in left field at Fluor Field.
The fans already love him, less than a month after he was promoted from Salem, Drive manager Iggy Suarez said.
Jordan has 11 home runs this season, including two in his Greenville debut. He’s making plenty of contact too, with a .348 batting average during his time in High-A.
For a 19-year-old whose junior season was canceled because of COVID, and who skipped his senior season after graduating early from Mississippi high school baseball powerhouse DeSoto Central, Jordan looks like he hasn’t missed a beat.
“I didn’t think it was going to be that fast,” Suarez told Boston.com. “I was like ‘I’m going to stay as far away as I can. I’m not going to try and mess with this kid at all.’ You read the reports, you see the notes, and you see how well he’s been playing. You’ve got to let him transition, let him play, let him have a good time. That’s the thing, we want to make it as smooth as we can for him.”
With a swing like Jordan’s, anchored by a strong lower body, tremendous bat speed, and ridiculous forearm strength, the next steps in his development are to continue to round out his game.
He’s working on selecting better pitches, becoming more mobile so he has the versatility to play either corner infield spot, and his baserunning, which has led to him stealing five bases this season. There’s also the schedule to get used to.
“I’d probably say [the biggest difference is] the grind of playing everyday, which I kind of like because if you have a bad night you get to just go out there and play again,” Jordan said. “It’s definitely a grind being away from home all the time, but you basically create a family here.”
Jordan was stoked when was informed by Salem manager Luke Montz that he and 2021 first-round pick Marcelo Mayer were being promoted in August. Jordan and Mayer drove to Greenville together.
“I think we make each other better every day,” Jordan said. “We were roommates together in Salem and now we’re roommates here, so we’ve created a pretty tight bond, and playing beside him at third base and shortstop is pretty cool, especially with the talent he has.”
Jordan cried tears of joy when he heard his name called during the 2020 MLB Draft. The Red Sox scouted him for years, and showed that they believed in him.
“I’d say that’s probably the hardest I cried in some time,” Jordan said. “All the hard work and everything I’ve put in, my family’s put in. It was pretty cool having them and all my friends there.”
When he’s not playing baseball, Jordan enjoys fishing, collecting trading cards and looking up exotic cars on YouTube, his mother Jennifer said. He drives a Mercedes Benz G-Wagon, which was one of his dream cars.
He also grew fond of TopGolf while staying in Atlanta for travel baseball tournaments, his dad Chris Jordan said. He swings lefthanded on his drives so he doesn’t mess up his baseball swing. He putts righthanded.
Jordan also enjoys having one of the most unique names in baseball. When his mother was pregnant with him, she went for a checkup and saw a magazine with an article about an autistic boy named Blaze.
“The article just kind of moved me, and I told Chris about it,” Jennifer Jordan said. “At the time, we didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl and he was like, ‘if it’s a boy we’re definitely naming him Blaze.’ That’s where it came from, a magazine article about a little autistic boy.”
It would also make a pretty cool football name, thought his dad, who played college football at Memphis.
“But it turned out to be baseball which is all great and good also,” Chris Jordan said.
Blaze Jordan remembers the early days, before clips of his 500-foot home runs went viral and put his name on the map. He’s living up to the hype so far, and staying humble in the process.
“Just going out there and playing in front of fans every night,” Blaze Jordan said. “That’s the coolest part because I remember when I was a kid in the stands, watching minor league and major league games. It’s pretty cool to be on the field this time.”