“You Hear The Term A Lot About Being A Low-Maintenance Stroke” | D-Backs Sign Second-Round Pick LuJames “Gino” Groover
The 2023 Arizona Diamondbacks are playing some good ball thus far this season, sitting at a respectable (53-42) which is good enough for third in the NL West, and just two games behind the division leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
In last week’s MLB Draft out in Seattle, the D-Backs added whom they believe is their future third baseman, when they chose NC State Wolfpack star LuJames “Gino” Groover with the No.48 overall selection.
“The Experience Is Great, I Have Talked To A Bunch Of Teams” | NC State Slugger LuJames “Gino” Groover Prepping For 2023 MLB Draft@PoVMasonSports
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 18, 2023
On Monday the team announced it had signed Groover, locking him up for the foreseeable future.
The pick wasn’t really all that surprising because of Groover’s bat and consistently developing defensive skills. The former Wolfpack star is fresh off a season where he carried a .976 OPS along with 13 home runs in 57 games for the Pack. It was good enough to earn him All-ACC third-team honors, and it helped catapult him into the majors.
Reporting for @InsidePackSport
Former NC State infielder LuJames ‘Gino’ Groover has signed a pro contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Groover was selected in the 4th round (48th overall) by Arizona. The slot pay for that pick is 1.783m. pic.twitter.com/qwVQ3SOQ4t
— Rob McLamb (@RobMcLamb) July 17, 2023
His development on defense also played a role in why the D-Backs were intrigued, as Groover showed marked improvement at third base where he started 56 of his 57 games played in 2023. But, at the end of the day it’s his bat and how smooth he is at the plate that sets him apart.
Groover Was Great In NCAA Tournament
One season after the Wolfpack were snubbed out of an NCAA Tournament berth, they clinched a No.3 seed. In the tourney, Groover went 4-12 with two homers in the three games, showing off his power at the plate.
T A T T O O E D 🤯🤯🤯
— ACC Baseball (@ACCBaseball) May 23, 2023
That, plus his plate discipline and ability to spray the ball to all parts of the field were too intriguing for the D-Backs to pass up. According to the team’s director of amateur scouting, Ian Rebhan, Groover’s approach at the plate is definitely something that caught the eye of the D-Backs.
Here’s what he told reporters about the pick.
“You hear the term a lot about being a low-maintenance stroke,” Rebhan said. “When you get into pro ball, you’re facing really good competition, I think those things matter. It’s the simplicity and the contact skills and the way the ball comes off the bat. I think there’s a chance for power there, too.”
D-Backs Continue Influx Of Young Talent
With their first-round pick, the D-Backs chose Stanford infielder Tommy Troy, No.12 overall. Troy and Groover are the latest on a list of talented young players over the last 4-5 drafts. That list includes Corbin Carroll (2019), MLBbro Alek Thomas (2018), Jake McCarthy (2018), Ryan Nelson (2019), and Tommy Henry (2019).
Coming into the 2023 season the D-Backs farm system was ranked No.3 by MLB Pipeline, thanks in part to MLB Draft picks last year, Druw Jones (No.2), Landon Sims (No.34) and Ivan Melendez (No.43). Adding Troy and Groover should only help strengthen that high ranking.