Image credit: Blaze Jordan (Photo by Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)
Blaze Jordan was one of 40 players invited to participate in the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game. While there, he was one of the most impressive hitters at the event, both in the game and in the home run derby, as well as during a workout the day before.
Jordan, who is a top-10 player in the 2020 high school class after reclassifying from the 2021 group, chatted with Baseball America before the game about his playing style, who he looks up to in the major leagues and how his power stacks up to some other high-end sluggers in this year’s draft class.
Baseball America: What kind of player are you?
Blaze Jordan: I would describe myself as being respectful to the game and just always hustling and playing hard. Yeah, that’s basically it.
BA: What does playing the game the right way mean to you?
BJ: Yeah, just playing hard and giving it my all. Wearing my jersey right and making sure everything is done right.
BA: Was that something that was instilled in you from a young age?
BJ: Yeah, and that’s just always kind of been my opinion. Like when I see people who wear their jerseys weird and their hats weird I’m just like, ‘(What are you doing?)’
BA: Who is your favorite MLB team? Why?
BJ: I’ve always liked the Yankees, but I’ve been watching the Braves a lot because a guy who used to go to my school, Austin Riley, he started playing for them so I’ve been watching them a lot.
BA: Did you know him?
BJ: He went to my school, but I was an incoming eighth grader when he was graduating so I didn’t really get to meet him a lot. But he comes back sometimes and talks to us and everything.
BA: Who is your favorite player? Why?
BJ: I’ve always liked to watch Miguel Cabrera. I like watching his swing and everything. I kind of think my swing is a little bit similar to his, and he used to play third base and now he moved to first.
BA: Is that something where you watched him swing and you modeled it after him or you just noticed it was similar?
BJ: I didn’t really study his swing and try to make mine look like his, but I saw myself in his swing. And he plays a corner infield position and everything, so I kind of just thought my game was like his.
BA: Any other players who you try to replicate or point to or just him?
BJ: He’s been the one I’ve kind of pointed to, especially back in 2013 when he won the Triple Crown and all that stuff.
BA: When did you realize you might be good enough to be an Under Armour All-American?
BJ: It was during my 14-year-old year, I went to Jupiter, Fla., and my first at-bat hit a home run. After that, had a really good summer my 14-year-old year and then did really good during high school, so after that I kind of had a chance.
BA: Did you notice that pitchers started to attack you differently after that point?
BJ: Yeah I did, especially in high school and even now during summer a lot. They are pitching away from me a lot and a lot of curveballs, and I’m not getting a lot of stuff over the plate to hit.
BA: How frustrating is that, and how do you adapt?
BJ: I mainly get more aggressive in the count, but I’m also taking my walks when I need to. So if the first pitch is where I can hit it and drive it, I’m going to try. But I take my walks when I need to, try to stay disciplined at the same time.
BA: Who is the toughest pitcher you’ve faced in the 2020 or the 2021 class that jumps out to you?
BJ: I faced Nate Savino at the Perfect Game National Showcase and he was really tough to hit, but just from watching other guys pitch—I haven’t ever faced him, but Jared Kelley, he has the velocity and his changeup is very good.
BA: What about Savino was difficult?
BJ: He’s a little bit of a lower slot and he just throws his slider whenever he wants to. He started me off with a first-pitch slider and then the next pitch was a fastball.
BA: What excites you about Mississippi State?
BJ: It was mainly just how I felt when I was down there and how people treat you when you’re down there. Everyone treats you like you are family down there. The fanbase is incredible, the new stadium is incredible, coaching staff is great. So I just really felt like I was at home and where I could better myself and just enjoy myself down there.
BA: How close is that to home for you?
BJ: It’s about three and a half hours.
BA: Austin Hendrick is also a Mississippi State commit and another big power hitter in the 2020 class, so who has more power. You or him?
BJ: We haven’t talked much about that, but I saw him in Cleveland when he did the home run derby with me in the high school event.
BA: Well you won, so you have to say you have more, right? (Editor’s note: Hendrick won the Under Armour All-America Game Home Run Derby in a field that also included Jordan)
BJ: Oh, I don’t know about that. I had a little bit of an advantage, the wind was blowing straight in from right that day, so it kind of helped me out. But he hit a few balls that really impressed me. He has a ton of power.
BA: If you didn’t play baseball, what sport would you play?
BJ: I’d probably have to say football. I just like throwing the football and stuff. I played when I was seven and eight.
BA: What kind of music do you listen to?
BJ: I listen to a lot of country music and a lot of Christian music also.
BA: Do you have a favorite artist?
BJ: I don’t really have one favorite artist. I kind of just listen to everybody in country music.
BA: What is your walkup song?
BJ: This past year it was “I Like It,” by Cardi B, but (this year) I’ll probably change it to something else. We’ll see.