Grading The Top Ten: Jake Blalock

The Phillies were always high on Jake Blalock, but he never did reach the potential that they envisioned for him. As part of the deal to get David Dellucci, the Phillies sent Blalock and Robinson Tejeda to Texas. The change of scenery hasn't done a lot to reverse Blalock's fortunes.

If Jake Blalock thought he was always being compared to his older brother Hank, the comparisons hit him much harder these days. Being in the same organization as his All-Star brother makes the comparison come to life on a daily basis and has added a degree of difficulty for the younger Blalock. "It's not too bad really. There were always comparisons and there will probably always be comparison. We both just go out and play as hard as we can," said Blalock.

These days, Blalock is working at the AA level with the Frisco RoughRiders. One of the knocks on him in the Phillies' organization was that his power numbers never matched up with where the Phillies projected them to be. The story has continued with Frisco. "I've been doing a lot of adjusting here," admitted Blalock. "I still think the power will be there as I continue to develop. Sometimes, it just all has to click." His last homerun came on April 30th and he's hit just three homeruns this season.

After a couple of multi-hit games to start the season, Blalock went into a tailspin and saw his average drop as low as .161 by late April. Since then, the adjustments have turned things around for Blalock and he's raised his average almost 100 points to the .255 level. Actually, he had gone as high as .267 last Friday, but a 1-for-10 streak since then has brought him back down.

While Blalock has been at AA, Tejeda has shuttled back and forth between the majors and AAA this season, getting three starts for the Rangers. He's struggled in those three starts, going 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA on the season. Of course, Dellucci hasn't exactly been a great addition to the Phillies' bench, although a recent hot streak has brought his average up to the .243 mark. In other words, nobody is exactly loving this deal at this point of the season.

Early Grade - C: Blalock at least has the excuse that he's adjusting to a new level, but that excuse will start to wear thin. There are a lot of scouts that believe Blalock will start to fizzle now that he's at AA. If he can't find his power, then he'll have to hit well above the .255 mark to be considered much of a prospect. The rest of the season is going to be extremely important for Blalock's future on the Rangers prospect radar.

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