Jun 18, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; High Desert Mavericks right fielder Jabari Blash (6) during the fourth inning of the California League vs Carolina League All Star Game at San Jose Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The Seattle Mariners played an intrasquad game Tuesday, and as our own Dan Hughes reports
"What does it mean? Not much as most of you I’m sure realize. But it was something. It was baseball and it was a welcome sight."
Welcome, indeed. One player in particular caught my eye: Jabari Blash. The name alone warrants further investigation. He went 2-2 with a HR , walk, and was hit by a pitch. From the Mariners press release:
"Outfield prospect Jabari Blash led off the fourth inning by getting hit by a pitch but stayed in after a coach said, “stay in there and hit.” After working the count to 3-1, Blash hit a deep drive to left field that not only cleared the fence, it cleared (at least) the storage container that is roughly 70 feet beyond the fence, tying the game. Avery got the winning run across in the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly to left field."
That’s what I’m talking about. Rub some dirt on it and go hit a jack. So who IS this gent with the superhero name and spring training nerves of steel, Jabari Blash?
Blash is a 24 year old outfielder from Ontario, Canada. He is 6’5″, 224 lbs. Originally from the Virgin Islands, he played his high school ball in Canada, and 2 years of community college at Miami-Dade South CC. He was drafted 3 times, by the White Sox in 2007 (29th round), the Rangers in ’09 (9th rd), before signing with the Mariners as an 8th rd pick in 2010.
In four years of minor league play, from rookie ball to AA Jackson, he has compiled a .260/.375/.483 line with an ops of .857. He has averaged 15 home runs and 11 steals.
And 100 strikeouts. Ouch.
Scouts say the book on Bash…err…Blash is that he has prodigious power, kills fastballs, struggles with off-speed and breaking pitches, and plays average defense.
He does possess a good arm, he thinks at the plate and attempts to make adjustments. He also has plus speed. He reminds me a lot of Greg Halman.
Blash is still very raw, however he is one to watch.