Boston Red Sox

Ex-Red Sox top pitching prospect suspended for betting violations

Jay Groome was Boston's top pick in the 2016 MLB Draft.

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Major League Baseball made a statement Tuesday by officially giving San Diego Padres utility man Tucupita Marcano a lifetime ban for violating its sports betting policy.

The league also handed out one-year suspensions to four other players for similar sports betting violations -- and one is the former No. 1 pitching prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization.

Padres left-hander Jay Groome, the Red Sox' first-round pick (12th overall) in the 2016 MLB Draft, received a one-year suspension from MLB on Tuesday related to bets he made while with the organization.

According to the league, Groome placed 32 MLB-related bets from July 22, 2020, to July 24, 2021, while he was with the Greenville Drive, Boston's High-A affiliate. Groome placed 24 of those bets on the Red Sox' major league club -- all on the game's final outcome -- and wagered a total of $453.74 (an average of about $15 per bet) across his 30 bets.

While MLB noted Groome didn't appear in any of the games on which he bet, Groome still violated MLB's sports betting policy by betting on games as an active player. For what it's worth, Groome didn't fare too well on his bets, either: He only received payouts on two of his 30 bets and lost a total of $433.54 on his wagers, per MLB.

The Red Sox had high hopes for Groome, a hard-throwing, 6-foot-6 left-hander who came to the organization straight out of high school in 2016 at age 17. He never fully realized that potential in Boston, however, in part due to injury: Groome underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2018 and missed the entire 2018 campaign.

Groome was promoted to Triple-A Worcester in July 2022, but the Red Sox traded him to the Padres in August in a deal that landed them Eric Hosmer, Max Ferguson, Corey Rosier, and cash considerations.

The 25-year-old posted a 3.60 ERA over three starts at San Diego's Triple-A affiliate this season but has yet to appear in an MLB game.

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