Friday, December 31, 2004

Travis Blackley Report

Travis Blackley, LHP, Seattle Mariners
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent, 2000, Australia
Bats L/Throws L
22 YO, 6'3", 190 lbs

I'm not entirely sure what I think of Blackley, which isn't what you want to hear from a supposed prospect authority, but it is the truth. He puts up numbers just good enough to keep me interested, but not good enough for me to get excited about. He walks too many batters. And he got dominated in the majors. And his 2004 numbers were likey helped a lot by Tacoma's cavernous ballpark.

His strikeout rate took a steep dive this season. In 2003, he struck out 144 Texas League batters in 162 innings. This season in the PCL, he only fanned 80 in 110 innings. It is even more alarming when you consider that in 2002, he struck out 152 in 121 innings in the California League. That's trending in the wrong direction.

He doesn't have blazing stuff, but he does get into the low 90's and has a wide assortment of pitches, including a decent change. If his command is on, he can keep hitters off balance. If his command isn't on, well you saw what happened when he was in Seattle. His upside is Mark Buehrle. His downside is Glendon Rusch.

ETA: Late 2005
3 1/2 Stars



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