Rule V Scouting Report: Jared Blasdell

Jared Blasdell seemed to be on a quick road to Chicago. Last season though, he struggled and the Cubs decided not to protect him in the Rule V Draft. The Phillies are hoping that maybe his 2004 season was just a bit of a detour for a strong, young reliever who has had minor league success as a closer.

Jared Blasdell came to the Phillies organization as part of the 2004 Rule V Draft. The 25 year old right-hander has worked exclusively as a reliever in his minor league career and saved 50 games over two seasons just a couple years ago. One of the highlights of Blasdell's career was closing out a no-hitter for Carmen Pignatiello on the 2003 Daytona Cubs.

Buck Rogers was the Daytona GM at the time and remembers the event and Blasdell well: "In Daytona Beach Jared Blasdell was a team player who welcomed challenge. He did his thing and didn't let anything distract him. In a game in 2003, with Starting Pitcher Carmen Pignatiello tossing a no-hitter after eight complete and well over his pitch count, Jared came in to close out the game to a surpising smattering of boos from the home crowd that wanted to see Piggy go the distance. Jared knew that he wasn't going to get any accolades on this night, but he'd catch the hell if he blew it for Piggy. Jared walked a batter and then, completely unfazed, fanned the next three. To quote ESPN's Stuart Scott, 'As cool as the other side of the pillow'."

The Phillies are hoping that Blasdell, who stumbled slightly in 2004, can rediscover his groove and return to the nerves of steel closer that he was at Daytona.

2001 New Jersey (Rookie) 0 1 1.26 11 26 28.2 18 6 4 7 36 2
2002 Peoria (A) 6 2 1.37 23 53 65.2 34 11 10 14 79 1
2003 Daytona (A) 3 4 3.20 27 56 59.0 52 25 21 34 84 1
2004 Daytona (A) 0 0 5.79 0 2 4.2 3 3 3 0 5 0
2004 W.Tennessee (AA) 2 4 4.80 2 49 60 59 40 32 43 60 8
2004 Iowa (AAA) 0 1 10.80 0 1 1.2 1 2 2 5 2 0
Career 11 12 2.96 63 63 218.1 167 87 72 103 266 12

Pitching: As mentioned, Blasdell is cool as ice. He keeps the ball down in the zone and has generally had good command of his pitches. He definitely has the mentality to become a closer as long as he continues to develop his pitches. He's basically a fastball, slider type of pitcher who uses his command and mixes his pitches to keep hitters from digging in against him. He's not afraid to challenge hitters and has generally had good enough stuff to get away with it. He may need to do that a little less though against better hitters.

Projection: Blasdell may not have quite enough stuff to be a quality major league closer. The jury is still out on that. He does have above average talent, but may need more time at the higher levels to adjust to better hitters. It will be interesting to see how he responds in 2005 and that should go a long way toward determining how his future goes.

ETA: It figures that Blasdell will need at least one more full season at AAA, since he has only thrown 1.2 innings of AAA ball. He may even need more than that. The Phillies will have to figure out how they want to deal with him after the season. Of course, if he puts up big numbers in 2005, he could move at a faster pace.

Comparison: One scout said that he thought Blasdell reminded him of former Phillie Tyler Green. Blasdell has a hard, sinking fastball and somewhat of a bulldog mentality. Fortunately for Blasdell, he hasn't encountered the injury problems that Green had.

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