Prep Standout Blaze Jordan Reclassifies For 2020 Draft Class
Just a few days before the 2019 draft, there’s big news for an already strong 2020 draft class.
DeSoto Central (Southaven, Miss.) High infielder Blaze Jordan is reclassifying from the 2021 class to graduate early and become draft eligible in 2020.
“I’ve been talking to my coach Tim Dulin with the Dulin (Dodgers) organization,” Jordan told Baseball America. “He brought it to us, but we’ve been thinking about it and praying about it a lot. We just feel like it was the best decision for me and it was (in) the best interests with my coaches and my family also.
“Pursuing my career, whether it’s to go to college or being able to sign professionally and being able to go along with my career and better myself. We just thought that was in the best interest for me and my family.”
Jordan was already a known name in scouting circles as a member of the 2021 class and started to show prodigious raw power from a young age. At last year’s Perfect Game tournament in Jupiter, Fla., while scouts were bearing down on top 2019 prospects and a few notable 2020s, Jordan’s name was brought up frequently even though he had only just completed his freshman year. Jordan is already a notable name among fans, with nearly 50,000 Instagram followers before his 17th birthday and a viral YouTube video with more than 2.5 million views.
Jordan possesses plus-plus raw power as a 6-foot-2, 218-pound, 16-year-old.
“He can really hit, and it’s real power,” one National League area scout said.
“About 30 minutes after I hit with him, I knew he was special,” said Dulin, Jordan’s travel ball coach who has worked with him since he was 4 years old. “(He’s) just passionate about the game and has an unbelievable work ethic. His ability to slow the game down is what you see with successful major league hitters.
“I have not had guys with (this sort of) power at his age. . . . The unique thing is we have taken teams to Jupiter, which is the biggest event with 18-year-olds. I struggled with, ‘Do I take (Jordan) or not.’ But I couldn’t look at the age more than the ability. He did well. The next year, at age 14 in his first at-bat in front of tons of scouts, he hit a ball against the wind and it’s still going. All the events he’s gone to, when there are games going on on secondary fields or scouts are waiting for other games, when Blaze is up to bat they all come over and videotape this guy.”
Committed to Mississippi State already, Jordan, his family and Dulin—who played seven minor league seasons with the Orioles and Pirates organizations and has coached major leaguers like Mookie Betts, Matt Cain and Austin Riley—thought that reclassifying would be a smart step for his future, whether that meant signing with a pro team during the draft or simply getting to Starkville sooner.
“I think I probably started discussing it with his parents a couple of years ago, having conversations and saying this might be something we need to consider,” Dulin said. “Graduating at 17 is attractive to major league clubs.
“We sat down with Blaze three months ago and said here’s what’s got to happen if you want to do this. He’s had his goals and dreams of playing in the big leagues since he was little . . . His body transformation over the last year and a half, his speed has gotten better and he’s played third base for the first time in his career.”
While Jordan has standout power and excellent natural hitting ability, he could further elevate his draft stock by showing evaluators that he has a real chance to play a position other than first base. Several players have successfully reclassified recently, including Trejyn Fletcher in this year’s class and Triston Casas in 2018. Other reclassifying players include Seth Beer, Bryce Harper and J.B. Bukauskas.
“I knew Bryce Harper did it but there was also this one kid who did it this past year,” Jordan said. “Triston Casas—I saw that he did it, and I actually noticed him when I was down at the power showcase. We never really talked about it or anything. I just knew he did it.”
Jordan will enter the 2020 summer showcase season to be evaluated with his new peers. He’ll be looking to follow Casas’ path as a power-hitting corner infielder who went in the first round.
“I feel like I’m ready just to play at the next level, whether it’s college or pro, because I like to challenge myself,” Jordan said. “I feel like I play better once I challenge myself and face better pitching. I want to keep getting better.”