Top MLB pitching prospect Jason Groome has been ruled ineligible for violating a transfer rule, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Philip Anastasia.
Groome, who plays for Barnegat High School in New Jersey, did not sit out the required 30 days, or half of his team’s games, for players who transfer without a bona fide change of residence between school districts.
The anticipated No. 1 pick in June’s First-Year Major League Player Draft played for Barnegat for his first two varsity seasons, then transferred to IMG Academy to pitch there for his junior year, before moving back to New Jersey for his final campaign.
“The Barnegat Township School District does not feel the rule should apply in an instance when a student athlete returns to his home town, where his parents have residence and are taxpayers,” the school district said in a statement. “Upon leaving the IMG Academy in Florida, Jason Groome could have chosen to play for any varsity High School baseball program in the United States. He chose Barnegat because his family and friends are here. We stand behind Jay, our team, coaches and administration.”
According to the NJSIAA, Groome’s two wins from earlier this season must now be forfeited. He will become eligible again for Barnegat’s 12th game or May 1, whichever comes first.