2007 MLB Draft Q&A: Seth Blair

A hard throwing right-hander out of Rock Falls High School in Illinois, Seth Blair has drawn a lot of attention from college recruiters and pro scouts alike over the past six months. He recently made his college decision, but considering his live arm it appears likely that the pros could come calling next June. We recently caught up with Seth for a Q&A session.

Scout.com: First of all, I'm sure it was a summer of showcases for you. How you do you feel your summer went and what were you able to get out of it?

Seth Blair: My summer was excellent. I participated in some of the top tournaments and showcases nationally, and performed very well. Each tournament or showcase had different talent from throughout the country allowing me to see the top players nationwide, which ultimately will prepare me to compete at the next level.

Scout.com: Which event do you think you had your best showing at and why?

Seth Blair: My best showing was at the CABA World Series in Charleston, SC. I played with the Midland baseball organization. Our team won the championship and I received the top pitcher award for the tournament.

Scout.com: If you had describe your overall game, what are some important things you'd point out and basically what should people know about your style of pitching?

Seth Blair: That I am not the power pitcher that I am sometimes perceived to be and rely on ground balls to be successful. I always believe in my stuff and go right after the hitters. I try to make hitters earn their way on base.

Scout.com: What would you say is your strongest attribute as a pitcher and why?

Seth Blair: My willingness to compete and not back down from anyone. All great pitchers relish the opportunity to compete at the highest level and match their skills against the hitters skills. Sometimes you don't always come out on top and you need learn from your mistakes to avoid repeating. You can't be afraid to fail because baseball is a game of failure.

Scout.com: Have you committed to a college yet? If so, which one and have you thought ahead about the decision you could have to make between going pro and college?

Seth Blair: Yes, I have verbally committed to Arizona State University. I thought about it some, but during the past couple of months I have really concentrated on getting the college selection process completed. It is every player's dream to one day play in the majors, so if the right opportunity comes along, it will be a tough decision to pass up.

Scout.com: What do you feel are the most significant improvements you have to make over the next year and how do you plan to correct them?

Seth Blair: Keep developing all of my pitches and getting stronger with my lower body to help minimize the stress on my arm. I will be throwing a lot of bullpens and do some specific weight training to make the improvements.

Scout.com: It seems that you were a player that moved up a lot on many prospects lists this summer. What differences do you think there were in your game that got your the added attention?

Seth Blair: During the past year, I've played around with different grips and have developed a lot more movement on my fastball while gaining some velocity. Also, just playing against the best competition the past two summers made me realize you can't rely on one pitch if you're going to be successful.

Scout.com: What do you feel is the most important thing an organization should know about you that they might not see at first glance?

Seth Blair: That I always put the team goals ahead of my individual goals, that I'm a hard worker and willing to put in the extra time to learn.

Scout.com: What big league player would you best compare yourself to in terms of style and why?

Seth Blair: I've repeatedly been told my style compares to Jake Peavy of the San Diego Padres. We both rely on our sinker to be our mainstay.

Scout.com: Could you please describe your repertoire of pitches, the velocities of each and which is your best pitch, etc.

Seth Blair: My fastball is 89-94 MPH, my changeup is 76-78 MPH, my splitter is 80-82 MPH, and my slurve 78-80 MPH.

Scout.com: If you had to look back at a turning point in your career, what would it be? In other words, when did you realize you could take your game to the next level?

Seth Blair: The turning point was the summer between my sophomore and junior years. This was the first time I participated in summer travel ball outside of Northern Illinois. I was selected to play for USA Baseball's Youth National Team. I had early success and it has given me the confidence to play against the best players in the country and be successful.

Scout.com: How do you feel playing against such strong competition has helped you as a player?

Seth Blair: Once you achieve success against the top competition, it makes you work that much harder to remain successful. "It's harder to stay on top, than get to the top!" It has made me become a pitcher instead of just a thrower. Sometimes you have to pitch backwards to hitters to keep them off balance.

Scout.com: Has the pressure of picking a school and getting all the attention from scouts and things like that been difficult for you? What have you done to handle all of that?

Seth Blair: It was difficult towards the end because I have learned a tremendous amount of information about the recruiting process and I have a whole new respect for the coaches and colleges on how they are running their programs. You have to take your own goals and interests into consideration and you don't always see eye to eye with every coach. I just tried to keep competing and playing, while not worrying about all the extraneous factors that are off the diamond.

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