Blaze Jordan has always seemed destined for a career in pro baseball.
A 2020 third-round pick by the Red Sox out of DeSoto Central High School in Southaven, Miss., Jordan put himself on the radar of baseball scouts long before he made the jump up to the minor leagues.
A righthanded slugger at an early age, Jordan went viral at just 11 years old when he bashed a baseball 395 feet into the stands at the Texas Rangers’ former ballpark, Globe Life Park. Just two years later, he hit three 500-foot homers in the same stadium.
The 20-year-old corner infielder is now the 12th-ranked prospect in Boston’s system (per MLB.com) and earned a call up to Double A Portland this summer. MLB.com’s scouting profile lists Mark Trumbo (he of 218 career home runs) as a comparable at the big-league level.
But the path toward major league competition has been far from easy for Jordan, and the promising prospect shared a candid chronicle of his battles with anxiety and depression on social media over the weekend.
“Just thought it was finally time to share my story dealing with anxiety and depression after seeing so many stories about it,” Jordan said via X, formerly known as Twitter. “And I know as an athlete it can be especially hard dealing with these things. You are not alone.”
In his note, Jordan said that he dealt with anxiety and depression for a few years before finally hitting a “breaking point” during his first pro season in 2021. Jordan said that he ended up in a hospital for 4-5 days, which caused him to miss the final two weeks of his season with the Single A Salem Red Sox.
“I remember it all started around my senior year in high school, and I just could never seem to find happiness,” Jordan wrote. “I ended up getting drafted that summer which was one of the happiest days of my life and I just remember the joy I felt for those first few days of being a professional baseball player and signing with the Red Sox and I am truly grateful for this opportunity they have given me and I’m loving it to this day. But I remember after those couple of days, the anxiety and depression came back even harder.”
At one point, Jordan noted that his anxiety reached a point where he could not eat or drink without vomiting, adding that he lost about 25 pounds. He said he was unable to eat anything but a “couple of crackers each day.”
After testing revealed that the cause of Jordan’s hospital stay was severe anxiety and depression, he began to speak to a therapist, which allowed him to open up more about the challenges that come with a career in pro sports.
“It made me realize I needed to be more open about it and talk through it with the people around me,” Jordan said. “I’m definitely doing better today but still definitely have my ups and downs day to day.
“While I’m still struggling with some of the weight gain issues I’ve had caused by some of this and dealing with things mentally, I’m working through it and getting the help I need and hoping to come back better and better each year dealing with this.”
Jordan, who batted .254 with 6 home runs and 31 RBIs in 49 games with Portland in 2023, is projected to reach MLB by 2025, according to MLB.com.
“Just wanted to come out and say you’re not alone if you feel any of those two things and my best advice is to please just reach out to someone.” Jordan said. “I promise you, whether it’s a family member, friend, coach or even therapists, they would much rather you talk to them about anything than for you to deal with it on your own.”
Conor Ryan can be reached at email@example.com.