There’s only been one player Perfect Game had ranked No. 1 in the 2021 class.
Now, as the recruiting site figures out where Blaze Jordan should fall in the 2020 group, he’s simply labeled a “follow.” The No. 1 spot in 2021 remains empty as the DeSoto Central (Southaven, Mississippi) star reclassifies a year up and leaves a void below.
It’s probably not fair to call Blaze Jordan the next Bryce Harper, but a slugger who hits 500-foot home runs that made a major high school decision following his sophomore year is a decision that applies to both of them.
Harper, now a star on the Philadelphia Phillies, departed high school after his sophomore year to play at the College of Southern Nevada.
Jordan announced his reclassification from the class of 2021 to 2020 at the beginning of June.
“I really just prayed about it a lot. Talked to my family and my coaches. I just had a gut feeling that it was just the right thing to do,” Jordan said. “I’ve put a lot of hard work in and now I have to work a lot harder and just get to where I want to be one day.”
He played 17 games of varsity ball as an eighth grader. Over his freshman and sophomore campaigns, he hit .433 with a combined 17 home runs and 25 doubles. But it’s not just the results are impressive.
It’s the how. And it’s the how that’s made Jordan one of the viral stars of today’s high school sports scene.
Jordan hit a 504-foot home run at the Power Showcase — in January 2017, as an eighth grader.
And it’s not just thanks to a metal bat.
With wooden bats at the Perfect Game Showcase batting practice Tuesday, he blasted a handful into the bleachers at Chase Field in Phoenix.
“I actually feel more consistent swinging with wood,” Jordan said. “Metal (is) just kind of like, lighter and everything. Swinging with wood is more balanced.
“I feel like I’m able to control the barrel more, and have more solid contact with wood. So I actually like wood better.”
Jordan’s appreciation of balance in his bat as he destroys baseballs summons imagery similar to that of Thanos displaying the balance in the blade. As Jordan continues to take down opponents on the field, the 2020 rankings — and, potentially, 2020 draft — could see legitimate shakeup.
Not that Jordan has put serious consideration into the 2020 MLB Draft. It’s been a mere two weeks since he decided next year would be his last in high school; he said he doesn’t yet know whether he plans to forego his longtime commitment to Mississippi State in favor of going straight to the pros.
And Jordan feels he has more to improve on.
“I need to definitely work on my defense,” he said. “I think I can get a lot better there and just continue to work on my speed.”
And while he’s gets on base regularly, Jordan wants to improve the amount of contact he makes the plate.
“I just would like to be able to drive the ball a lot more and just be more consistent with it,” he said. “I have a lot of swing-and-misses.”
Stats show definite improvement in this regard from his freshman to sophomore season; he had the same amount of strikeouts and walks (22) in his first year as a full-time varsity player.
This last season, he walked 24 times and only struck out eight.
Playing varsity for so many years and competing against older players in different levels have him prepared for the next step.
“From me playing up a lot … it’s prepared me to get into the spot where I am now,” Jordan said. “It gave me the confidence to know that I can hang in there and just go out there and play.”