TCN 2013 Cardinals Prospect #30: Seth Blair

Taken 46th overall in the 2010 draft, the former Arizona State star improved in the Arizona Fall League. Has the right-hander turned the corner?

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2012 and career stats)

2012 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
33 RHS 3/3/1989 6-2 195 R R 2010 1s

School: Arizona State University

Selected 2012 stats

GCL 0 0 0.00 5.53 2 1 0 3 1 0 0 2 1 4.00 0.167 0.167
PB 1 3 5.40 5.06 5 5 0 16.2 18 12 1 14 12 1.05 0.273 0.304
Total 1 3 4.58   7 6 0 19.2 19 12 1 16 13 1.20 0.264 0.333
AFL 2 1 2.25 3.40 6 6 0 20 17 7 0 14 22 1.13 0.236  

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

CariocaCardinal (41): Blair was not on my prospect radar before his recent Arizona Fall League stint. His performance there was just enough to pique my interest in him and bring him in at #41 on my list. He did not rank higher because despite improved control, it was still below average.

Blair's true prospect status is clouded by him missing most of the 2012 season with injury and whether the surgery to his injured hand will result in significantly improving the control problems he has had the last few years. Blair still gets a reasonable number of ground balls and strikes out a fair number of opponents so that gives me some hope that if he ever conquers his control problems he could still recover as a prospect.

I think Blair is back at Palm Beach to open 2013. On top of that, I am willing to predict a move to the pen for him 2013. Hopefully, that will allow him to get back in to the grove with the potential of him moving back to starting at a later date.

Message board community (34): Drafted in the first round in 2010 (ouch), Blair has yet to find his footing as a professional pitcher. In 2011, the Arizona State product made 21 starts in the Midwest League, but averaged fewer than four innings per outing. Why? Location, location, location; Blair hasn't thrown strikes since the day he was drafted.

The 23-year-old righty walked 62 men in his aforementioned debut season... then his control worsened after returning from injury this year (albeit in just 20 innings, plus 20 more in the Arizona Fall League).

What's the cure? Perhaps a shift to the bullpen is just the tonic for Blair. On draft day, Seth was said to throw 89-94, but 90/91 most of the time. If a move to relief could sharpen his control, while simultaneously keeping that V in the 93/94 range, maybe the former Sun Devil can reclaim his career. - Bob Reed

Brian Walton (16): Blair not only pitched very well in the Arizona Fall League, it was clearly the best stretch of his two-plus year professional career. Perhaps he has put the injuries behind him for good.

The former Sun Devil star has what one scout says are two plus pitches – a fastball that this fall was consistently in the 92-94 mph range and can touch 95 or 96 plus a curveball that is "so good that opposing batters could know it is coming and still be unable to hit it," insisted one coach. As part of his four offerings, Blair also throws a slider and change up.

Though Blair still needs to show continued improvement in lowering his walk rate, an adjustment made in his motion, coming less from over the top, may be a positive contributor.

With his varied offerings, improved fastball velocity, encouraging tweaks and progress shown in the desert, I am once again becoming a Blair believer – to continue as a starter and thrive. My aggressive ranking supports this view – his best ranking from me since he placed number 11 on my list two years ago.

Our 2013 top 40 countdown continues: To see the list of top Cardinals prospects announced to date and remaining article schedule, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

There's more! Monthly and quarterly subscribers who upgrade to our annual pass will receive in the spring the 2013 FOX Sports NEXT Prospects Guide, a $4.95 value, for FREE. The perfect hardcopy companion to "40 Days" includes the top prospects from all 30 MLB organizations and much more. We author the Cardinals section of the guide as always.

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