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Get To Know: RHP Jordan Balazovic

Jordan Balazovic was one of the youngest players selected in the 2016 MLB draft when the Twins used their fifth-round pick in the right-handed pitcher. The youngster from the suburbs of Toronto is likely several years from potentially getting to the big leagues, but he is going to be one to watch in coming years. In September, I ranked him as my #38 Twins prospect, and frankly, after several conversations I will likely rank him higher in the 2017 Twins Prospect Handbook. Already 6-4, Balazovic has plenty of room to grow and gain strength. He only turned 18 after the season concluded.
Image courtesy of Jon Tarr
Recently, Jordan Balazovic was kind enough to take some time to answer questions for us. Continue reading to Get To Know more about a very young, very intriguing pitching prospect in the Twins system.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in Ontario, I’m guessing that we can guess who your favorite team was to follow, right? Who were some of your favorite players?

Jordan Balazovic (JB):Haha! Yes, my favourite team was the Toronto Blue Jays and also the New York Yankees. I have two favourite pitchers that I admire which are Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Sanchez.

SS: What were some of the better memories of your high school baseball career? Did you play other sports or were you involved in other activities?

JB: Well, high school baseball in Canada does compare to high school baseball in the States. I would play third base which was a lot of fun. Plus, I got to hit a little bit. Haha!

SS: What was the recruitment process like for you out of high school. You had committed to Auburn, but did you have a lot of coaches talking to you?

JB: Before Perfect Game in Jupiter, I didn't have a lot of schools talking to me. But I pitched pretty well at Perfect Game and then after that week I started to get a lot more interest. But it was between Missouri State and Auburn.

SS: Did you have the chance to speak with many scouts before the draft? What was your interaction with the Twins scout?


JB: I was speaking to quite a few teams at the time, and honestly, I thought I was going to be a Phillie. But a lot changes during the draft. You never know. Walt Burrows is the Canadian area scout, so he saw me a lot even when I was younger because he would come to the Ontario Blue Jays clubhouse. So he's seen me develop ever since I was 14, I believe. Once it got closer to the draft, he came over for a home visit with my family and I. It went really well. Felt like we have good chemistry and it wasn't awkward at all which was a very good sign

SS: The Twins took you in the fifth round. Was that about where you expected to be selected? How did you find out that you had been drafted? How busy was your phone at that moment?

JB: I was told top 5 rounds by the team I was talking to before the draft, but once it got closer to draft day a couple team had me top 3 rounds. So I wasn't too sure where I was going to go at the time. I was watching the draft since day one. Then I was with my family Day 2 when I got the call from my agent saying I was going to be a Twin.

SS: With the Auburn commitment, how difficult was the decision to sign with the Twins?

JB: It was very difficult, but you never know if you will get the opportunity to play professional baseball again. It's been my dream ever since I started to play.


SS: What has the adjustment like for you, from the high school game to the professional game, both on and off the field?


JB: Honestly, it wasn't a big jump because with my travel ball team (Ontario Blue Jays) we would have a fall trip every year to play top universities. So I got to face better hitters which helped my development a lot and helped me this year in professional baseball.

SS: You went through the Instructional League for the first time. What were you working on there or was it more about learning and getting more innings?

JB: When I went to Instructional League, I was working on my arm angle and mechanics, but it's also a great learning experience with the coaching staff they had down there from higher levels.

SS: At this very early stage in your career, what would you say are your biggest strengths?

JB: My biggest strength would have to be the way I attack the strike zone, and I'm not afraid to face anybody.

SS: What are the areas of your game that you would like to spend time working to improve?

JB: I need to improve my slider and curve ball which were also things I was working on during Instructional League.

SS: How has your offseason been so far? What do you do when you get away from baseball and training?

JB: It's been really good! I've been working out everyday, trying to put on weight and muscle. And when I'm not doing that, I'm spending time with my family and friends.

SS: Who are some of the people who have helped you get to this point in your career?

JB: I would have to say my parents, both being very supportive, and my dad teaching me a lot about the game and help develop my game. A big part would have also been the Ontario Blue Jays.

SS: Favorite Baseball movie?

JB: Haha! That's a tough one, but I really enjoy Major League.




A Big Thank You to Jordan Balazovic! Please feel free to comment or ask questions below.

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5 Comments

Hoping this wil be looked on as a steal in 5 years.

    • gunnarthor, clutterheart, d-mac and 1 other like this
Photo
HitInAPinch
Dec 02 2016 08:10 AM

Needs a change to his delivery.His head needs to be down when delivering a pitch.

 

Too early to pick on him ? 

I really liked last years draft for a variety of reasons but one of those was because they drafted a ton of really young players.  A lot of 17 year olds and guys with limited exposure but high ceilings.  Obviously, Balazovic falls into that group.  We probably won't be able to judge the 2015 draft class for a while yet but it'll be fun to watch a lot of these guys.

Photo
Bob Sacamento
Dec 02 2016 10:05 AM

Jordan was impressive in the GCL, he showed good command of the strikezone  especially for his age, he's also not afraid to throw inside (he had 7 HBP).  He has a nice downward plane and balance in his delivery. He also has a deceptive motion where hitters pick the ball up late out of his hand.

 

 Still he has some nice stuff with good sinking action on his fastball with above average control. Of his secondary, his changeup is further along than his breaking balls. The changeup comes out of the same slot as his fastball and he has enough velocity differential that it upticks his fastball. He showed flashes of an above average slider at times when he stays on top of it.  He didn't flash the curve too much but like the slider needs alot of work.  All said, there is a lot to like about this kid especially the further he physically matures.

 

    • Carole Keller, clutterheart and Monkeypaws like this

 

Jordan Balazovic was one of the youngest players selected in the 2016 MLB draft when the Twins used their fifth-round pick in the right-handed pitcher. The youngster from the suburbs of Toronto is likely several years from potentially getting to the big leagues, but he is going to be one to watch in coming years. In September, I ranked him as my #38 Twins prospect, and frankly, after several conversations I will likely rank him higher in the 2017 Twins Prospect Handbook. Already 6-4, Balazovic has plenty of room to grow and gain strength. He only turned 18 after the season concluded.Recently, Jordan Balazovic was kind enough to take some time to answer questions for us. Continue reading to Get To Know more about a very young, very intriguing pitching prospect in the Twins system.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in Ontario, I’m guessing that we can guess who your favorite team was to follow, right? Who were some of your favorite players?
 

Jordan Balazovic (JB):Haha! Yes, my favourite team was the Toronto Blue Jays and also the New York Yankees. I have two favourite pitchers that I admire which are Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Sanchez.

SS: What were some of the better memories of your high school baseball career? Did you play other sports or were you involved in other activities?

JB: Well, high school baseball in Canada does compare to high school baseball in the States. I would play third base which was a lot of fun. Plus, I got to hit a little bit. Haha!

SS: What was the recruitment process like for you out of high school. You had committed to Auburn, but did you have a lot of coaches talking to you?

JB: Before Perfect Game in Jupiter, I didn't have a lot of schools talking to me. But I pitched pretty well at Perfect Game and then after that week I started to get a lot more interest. But it was between Missouri State and Auburn.

SS: Did you have the chance to speak with many scouts before the draft? What was your interaction with the Twins scout?


JB: I was speaking to quite a few teams at the time, and honestly, I thought I was going to be a Phillie. But a lot changes during the draft. You never know. Walt Burrows is the Canadian area scout, so he saw me a lot even when I was younger because he would come to the Ontario Blue Jays clubhouse. So he's seen me develop ever since I was 14, I believe. Once it got closer to the draft, he came over for a home visit with my family and I. It went really well. Felt like we have good chemistry and it wasn't awkward at all which was a very good sign

SS: The Twins took you in the fifth round. Was that about where you expected to be selected? How did you find out that you had been drafted? How busy was your phone at that moment?

JB: I was told top 5 rounds by the team I was talking to before the draft, but once it got closer to draft day a couple team had me top 3 rounds. So I wasn't too sure where I was going to go at the time. I was watching the draft since day one. Then I was with my family Day 2 when I got the call from my agent saying I was going to be a Twin.

SS: With the Auburn commitment, how difficult was the decision to sign with the Twins?

JB: It was very difficult, but you never know if you will get the opportunity to play professional baseball again. It's been my dream ever since I started to play.

SS: What has the adjustment like for you, from the high school game to the professional game, both on and off the field?


JB: Honestly, it wasn't a big jump because with my travel ball team (Ontario Blue Jays) we would have a fall trip every year to play top universities. So I got to face better hitters which helped my development a lot and helped me this year in professional baseball.

SS: You went through the Instructional League for the first time. What were you working on there or was it more about learning and getting more innings?

JB: When I went to Instructional League, I was working on my arm angle and mechanics, but it's also a great learning experience with the coaching staff they had down there from higher levels.

SS: At this very early stage in your career, what would you say are your biggest strengths?

JB: My biggest strength would have to be the way I attack the strike zone, and I'm not afraid to face anybody.

SS: What are the areas of your game that you would like to spend time working to improve?

JB: I need to improve my slider and curve ball which were also things I was working on during Instructional League.

SS: How has your offseason been so far? What do you do when you get away from baseball and training?

JB: It's been really good! I've been working out everyday, trying to put on weight and muscle. And when I'm not doing that, I'm spending time with my family and friends.

SS: Who are some of the people who have helped you get to this point in your career?

JB: I would have to say my parents, both being very supportive, and my dad teaching me a lot about the game and help develop my game. A big part would have also been the Ontario Blue Jays.

SS: Favorite Baseball movie?

JB: Haha! That's a tough one, but I really enjoy Major League.



A Big Thank You to Jordan Balazovic! Please feel free to comment or ask questions below.

Click here to view the article

 

"My biggest strength would have to be the way I attack the strike zone, and I'm not afraid to face anybody."

 

Love that statement.  We need more guys like this in the system.  No more nibblers.