When the Arizona Diamondbacks drafted infielder LuJames “Gino” Groover it was all about his ability to make good, consistent with his bat.


While starring at N.C. State Groover displayed an uncanny ability to consistently make contact with the baseball. In his junior season (2023) for the Wolfpack, the 6-foot-2 and 215 pounder’s bat stood out.


He batted .332 with 13 homers, 50 RBI, 76 hits, 48 runs scored while securing 125 total bases. He also hit safely in 45 of the Wolfpack’s 57 games that season, while reaching base safely in 55 of the 57 games. Groover also tallied 25 multi-hit games and 14 multi-RBI games as well.


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Those numbers were enough for the Diamondbacks to take him in the second round of the 2023 MLB Draft. Groover spent his rookie season between three teams, the club’s rookie affiliates (Diamondbacks Red and Black) before ending the season at High-A Hillsboro.


Groover’s bat is still blazing. In a little over a season and 31 games, Groover is batting .296 with 17 RBI and six doubles. Hitting has never been an issue, and likely never will be, but he did reveal that the biggest adjustment from college to the pro has been the demanding schedule.

Groover Dealing With Much More Demanding Both Mentally And Physically


In college, teams typically play 3-4 games per week, that’s not the case in the minors where teams play every day except Monday, pretty much doubling the number of games played in a week.


In an interview during spring training Groover talked to reporters about the magnitude of the adjustment.


“Just adjusting to that period I think was the hardest thing, playing how many more games. Taking care of your body, making sure you’re prepared and getting proper rest. You’re on the road, living in the hotel for six nights. When I first got to High-A, we had back-to-back road trips, so I was like OK this is already different. As you are prepared, you take care of yourself, everything will take care of itself.”




Groover Also Seeing Time At First Base


With an estimated 2026 arrival to the majors, Groover has time to work out the kinks in his game which right now has him focused on third base (the hot corner). But team brass also has him learning first base as a way to give them more flexibility with their infielders.


The defending National League champions have a very, young, and talented roster in place for years to come, and Groover is definitely a chess-piece they’d like to use in a variety of ways. If anyone is capable of doing it, it’s Groover who’s about as even-keeled and prepared as you’ll find for a second-year pro.

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